The Beagle Editor, It has come to my attention that there is Money for Jam if you are In the Loop. The Regional Recovery Officer from the Federal National Drought and Flood Recovery and Response apparently gave a briefing the other day discussing how the federal government can better prepare and respond to future drought.
Towards the end of the briefing he mentioned that the drought communities outreach program still had some funds left and Eurobodalla farmers and support services were eligible to apply. Apparently the fund provides $500 to farmers. All that is a required is an easy form that needs to be filled out and posted to the
Drought Communities Outreach Program office in Tasmania. This seems a bit to easy, but he assured local farmers that this was the process. Give it a go they say — who would not say no to $500? So I looked it up to see if what I was hearing was real. This is what the internet said. The Drought Community Outreach Program is in partnership with Rotary "making it easier to access support and information to support farmers and rural and regional communities living through the immediate and longer-term effects of drought".
They provide information and advice on low-interest loans, Farm Household Allowance, On-Farm Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate Scheme, $3,000 Drought Community Support Initiative, and Rotary $500 household vouchers.
The Rotary $500 debit cards are available to assist those farm households facing financial hardship because of the drought. The reason Rotary Australia so generously distributes $500 debit cards to drought-affected households is to incentivise locals to buy from local businesses and stimulate regional economies.
Drought-affected households. Didn't Council do something too? On 23 November 2018, three fundraising events in Batemans Bay, Moruya and Narooma raised $44,065.05 from ticket sales, raffles, and auctions.
75% of the money raised was donated to Cobar Shire Council to support their drought affected community.
On 27 October 2020, Mayor Liz Innes requested that the Eurobodalla Disaster Relief Committee assist with distribution of the remaining $11,205 of funds. For nearly two years Council sat on those funds that were supposedly earmarked for our local drought affected farmers. Two years. Now they are finally handing it out $400 at a time to any Eurobodalla resident who could demonstrate they undertaken farming activities in the Eurobodalla Local Government Area (LGA) in the 2018-19 financial year (1 July 2018 - 30 June 2019). Applications are dealt with on a 'first in best dressed' basis. All you had to do is to demonstrate farming activities and evidence relevant to the 2018-19 financial year (1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019). You don't have to be drought affected at all. Now you can get an easy $500 off Rotary people too just by filling out a form. Easy. All that money raised comes from volunteers, from hard-work fundraising, donations, market BBQ's, Trivia nights, on line appeals to help Drought Affected Farmers. Then it is dished out to anyone who happens to know where to apply and knows how to fill out a form. That is disgusting. Morgan Clarke Auburn Road Kingston