AUSSIE Helpers founder Brian Egan has helped supply relief to drought-stricken parts of New South Wales and Victoria - but he can count on one hand the number of areas as bad as what he has witnessed in the Flinders Shire.
Visiting Hughenden as part of the Buy a Bale Campaign this week, Mr Egan said observing the current struggle, particularly on properties between Prairie and Muttaburra to the south of Hughenden was devastating.
“Some properties are so broken that the owners can’t even afford the essentials and there is more dead stock than live stock,” the former farmer said.
“I lost my property is 1999 due to drought and walked away with about two bob to my name – it was devastating.
“This is what leads to depression and suicide and we want to be there for these farmers to show that someone gives a bugger.
“We want to be there with tangible stock, so that people can see the difference we are making and we can help them get through another day a bit easier.”
Mr Egan arrived at Ballindolloch Station in Hughenden with four road trains and 300 bales of hay, which weighed more than 120 tonnes.
“This is all for the Flinders Shire,” he said.
“We have spent quite a bit of time in Richmond and the McKinlay Shire - parts of the McKinlay Shire are extremely bad - and we hope to continue to come to Hughenden,” he said.
“We have stopped in at places on the way here and dropped off $100 boxes of groceries and pamper packs for the ladies including hair products and lippy, as well as dog food, horse food, chook food.
“The places out here are all bad, there are no good places.”
Mr Egan, said he and wife Nerida had had seven days off in the entire 11 year history of Aussie Helpers but that it had been the happiest 11 years of his life.
“When I lost my place (to drought) I was depressed,’ he said.
“But if we can give these farmers hope for better days ahead then I have done my job.
“If we don’t believe in our farmers, we don’t believe in our future.”
Juanita and Andrew Holden, who own Ballindolloch Station, have said they will continue to donate their time to Aussie Helpers.
“This is our livelihood,” Mrs Holden said.