Tue, 24 Jul, 2018
Grant Denyer’s heartbreaking plea
Gold Logie winner Grant Denyer has shared a heartbreaking message after posting a photo of his 27-acre Bathurst farm in extremely dry conditions.
The TV and radio host labelled the New South Wales drought as “situation critical”, pleading with people to think about the impact it is having on struggling farmers.
“This is how dry it is at our place,” Denyer wrote in his post.
“My wife just took this photo of our backyard and paddocks. So dry, the kangaroos are drinking out of our dog bowl.
“We’re lucky we don’t rely on the farm for income but so many in regional Australia do. It’s so sad right now. In many places it’s the worst drought since records began.”
Grant said there was not only a financial strain on farmers but also an emotional one.
“Some families are at breaking point, unable to afford food & with no choice but to shoot their stock so they don’t starve & suffer a slow death.”
The TV star also highlighted how mental health problems had increased by 70 per cent in his region.
“Suicide by farmers is the most tragic consequence of such a drastic situation. Farmers harvest our food and the materials for the clothes on our back … please think of them.”
“We need them. They need us. That’s why we support @ruralaid and @buyabale”.
The first three months of 2018 were the driest for more than 40 years averaged across NSW, with 60 per cent of the state on drought watch, reported the Bureau of Meteorology.
According to the ABC, some farmers have been forced to pay up to $10,000 a week to maintain livestock in these conditions.
In a bid to help ease the financial pressure on Aussie farmers, National Australian Bank chief executive Andrew Thorburn announced the bank will stop charging farmers penalty interest if they fall behind on repayments due to drought.
The bank, which is the country’s largest agricultural lender, will also introduce new policies to allow famers to use offset accounts against agribusiness loans.
Farm management deposits (FMD) allow farmers to remove money from their taxable income during good years to use later during tough times.
Agricultural Minister David Littleproud encouraged other banks to follow NAB’s example, telling famers to “vote with their wallets”.
“This is an investment in agriculture’s future and farmers can now vote with their wallets. I hope other Aussie banks follow NAB’s lead and get on board,” Mr Littleproud said in a statement.