Peter Sutcliffe and Mayor Matt Burnett happy with the progress of the Gladstone Regional Drought Appeal.
Peter Sutcliffe and Mayor Matt Burnett happy with the progress of the Gladstone Regional Drought Appeal.

‘Dams are empty’: Appeal helps struggling farmers

FARMERS across the region have been heavily impacted by drought, and the Gladstone Region Drought Appeal aims to help.

Gladstone Regional Council mayor Matt Burnett yesterday said the appeal had raised about $13,000 since being launched in November.

He said about $1200 was raised at the council’s New Year’s Eve event and $2700 was donated by Santos GLNG to match the sale of their glow sticks at the Mayor’s Carols.

Money was also raised through donation tins at the carols, industry donations and by the community.

“The response has been very gratifying as we try to provide much-needed financial support to our region’s primary producers,” Cr Burnett said.

“Even though we’ve had some rain, it hasn’t gone everywhere it’s needed and it hasn’t broken the drought.”

He said the drought was an ongoing situation.

“Dams are empty, bores are dry and there’s no feed for cattle,” he said.

“It’s heartbreaking and affects us right here in the Gladstone Region.”

The Salvation Army partnered with the council for the appeal and Central Queensland area officer Major Peter Sutcliffe said it was important to help the farmers.

“We’ve seen first hand some of the difficulties our farmers are going through,” Major Sutcliffe said.

“The appeal is one way we can get in and support our farmers.”

The organisation provides financial and mental health support to farmers.

“You can’t separate the financial from the mental because they go hand-in-hand,” he said.

“When you’ve gone through years of drought, the mental stress takes its toll as well.

“We’ll be there to support them in the best way we can and the way they want to be supported as well.”

For decades, the Salvation Army has provided support to farmers and rural communities through their network of rural chaplains and flying padres.

Major Sutcliffe said it wasn’t high-profile work but had been vital in helping farmers stay on the land and persevere through tough circumstances.

For more information about the Gladstone Region Drought Appeal, visit