MAKING HAY: Sean Sullivan and Anja Urban are some of the QAL team behind the hay initiative.
MAKING HAY: Sean Sullivan and Anja Urban are some of the QAL team behind the hay initiative.

'Heartbreaking and heartwarming': the hay bail out

QUEENSLAND Alumina Limited was inundated with requests from the region's struggling farmers after its recent donation of $30,000 worth of hay.

In June the refinery called for expressions of interest from livestock owners to receive some of the 300 round bales from the refinery's buffer land.

Health, safety and environment manager Trent Scherer said the company was inundated with requests from farmers struggling in the drought, with many having to buy stock feed full-time.

 

Some hungry cattle digging in to QAL's hay.
Some hungry cattle digging in to QAL's hay.

"It's both heart-warming and heartbreaking; we are thankful to be in a position to donate this hay to local farmers, yet at the same time the need is far greater than what we can provide and these families are really doing it tough," Mr Scherer said.

"We fairly divided our hay up between the 50 people who expressed interest last month, who collectively have 9668 mouths to feed.

 

Trucks being loaded with QAL's Rhodes grass hay.
Trucks being loaded with QAL's Rhodes grass hay.

"With round bales costing around $100 each, at least we can temporarily boost the back pockets of some of our region's families and help ease the financial pressure that comes with the drought."

QAL held the second hay collection at the weekend, now with 253 round bales donated to 19 farmers.

Another 30 farmers will be supported after a second area of buffer land has its grass cut and baled this month.