The Queensland Resources Council (QRC) has welcomed a $100,000 contribution by Shell Australia and a $75,000 contribution by Santos to the Queensland Drought Appeal to help support regional communities affected by the drought.
QRC Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane said the drought was causing extreme hardship on farmers which flows right through the community.
“As a former farmer I know how devasting a drought is to people’s livelihoods and the pain has a direct impact on the local shops and suppliers. If the farms aren’t doing well everyone suffers in town,” Mr Macfarlane shared, “as two primary industries, resources and agriculture have a long and proud history of working together. In particular, the CSG industry has formed co-existence agreements with landholders delivering around $400 million in payments.”
The Queensland Drought Appeal will give all money raised to the Queensland Country Women’s Association (QCWA) to be spent on the ground to assist those who live in drought-stricken communities.
“It’s important for the resources sector to help out regional communities with many of our own projects operating nearby,” commented Mr Macfarlane, further encouraging organisations and members of the industry to dig deep and donate what they can to the cause.
Shell Vice President Tony Nunan said he believes it is important for resource companies to lend a hand, as so many employees and their families lived in towns across the Surat Basin and regional areas surrounding Gladstone.
“With direct working relationships with more two thousand farmers in the Darling Downs, our employees have seen first-hand the impacts this drought is having on families and their livelihoods,” Mr Nunan shared, “we hope that our contribution can make a difference to families that are doing it tough.”
Queensland’s Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries, Mark Furner, also shared his thoughts, further stating that the cash donation from both companies has added serious momentum to the Queensland Drought Appeal.
“To have companies coming on board to support Queensland farmers so soon is wonderful,” the Minister shared, “this money will go to the Queensland Country Women’s Association to be spent on the ground in rural and regional Queensland communities.”
The Queensland Government is also set to appoint two drought commissioners and inject $9 million into programs to deal with the social and financial impacts of the drought on regional Queensland communities and families.
The appeal will remain open for at least three months with all donations of $2 or more to the appeal tax-deductible – online donations can be made here.