Salvation Army Corps Officer Lieutenant Chris Ford and Gladstone Region Mayor Matt Burnett addressing the drought appeal funds 21.02.2020
Salvation Army Corps Officer Lieutenant Chris Ford and Gladstone Region Mayor Matt Burnett addressing the drought appeal funds 21.02.2020

Appeal raises $28k, but more is needed for farmers

A DROUGHT appeal has raised $28,659 for struggling farmers but Gladstone Region Mayor Matt Burnett says it's not enough.

Today, Gladstone Regional Council and Salvation Army provided an update on the drought appeal which was launched last November.

While he was proud the appeal raised awareness of the challenges facing the region's farmers, Cr Burnett said more money was needed to support them.

He said the council was advocating for Gladstone to be added to the Federal Government's drought community program.

"Obviously it's not as much as what's really needed to support our farmers in this time," Cr Burnett said.

The drought appeal funds were given to the Salvation Army yesterday to distribute to farmers.

Salvation Army Corps officer Lieutenant Chris Ford said the funds would give farmers some form of stability in their lives.

"The types of things we will be looking for is seeing what people need, whether it's as simple as supplying cattle with feed or assist them with financial needs such as food or bill payments," Mr Ford said.

He said it was always a challenge working out where the money should be allocated as "at the end of the day you've never got enough money".

"We will do our absolute best to identify who is in the greatest need and be able to support as many people as we can," he said.

The most recent fundraiser - a rugby union match between Queensland Reds and Melbourne Rebels on January 17 - raised $15,621.

Other council-run events which raised money for the appeal included the Christmas street party, Santos GLNG Mayor's Carols and Australia Day events.

The union match came at a cost to the council of about $74,500. Cr Burnett said it provided other social and economic benefits to the region.

Cr Burnett and Mr Ford wanted farmers to reach out if they are in need of support.