Support rolls out to fire affected farmers

All roads led to the Naracoorte and Lucindale area on Saturday, with a host of events held in the region to support fire affected farmers. The Mount Gambier Hay Run led the way, with a convoy of trucks delivering donated hay on-farm to those families devastated by January’s fires.

Hay Run organiser Adam Smith said it was a privilege to be able to visit families on their farms and learn about what they had endured. “It’s a very humbling experience speaking with farmers and hearing about what happened,” he said. “It was devastating to see first-hand the damage, the blackened earth and the scale of the fires.

“Going on-farm to meet with the people who you are donating the hay to gives it a whole new meaning, you can see who you are helping.”

Mr Smith said more than 400 bales of hay were donated in Saturday’s run, with trucks from all over the Limestone Coast travelling to the region. “These truck drivers and the companies who own the trucks and trailers, donate their time and equipment and it’s such a heart-warming gesture,” he said.

“While we might be helping the farmers, we get so much out of it ourselves.” After the truckies had unloaded their hay, they went on to a function attended by SA Governor His Excellency the Honourable Hieu Van Le.

Also in attendance were local Mayor Erika Vickery, Barker MP Tony Pasin and MacKillop MP Nick McBride, along with members of the Rapid Relief Team and BlazeAid. While in the region, the Governor officially opened the Children’s Museum at The Sheep’s Back at a community morning tea before spending the afternoon at Lucindale taking in fire recovery efforts.

There was also lunch at Yakka Park with volunteers and community members involved in the fire fighting and fire recovery efforts, before a visit to Avenue Range to see affected landowners. After visiting Lucindale, Mr Van Le returned to Naracoorte to officially launch the Naracoorte Migrant Resource Centre and Limestone Coast Multicultural Network.

His Excellency last visited the local area in 2019 when he attended a community morning tea and toured local businesses, farms, wineries and tourist attractions.

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