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Drought ‘one stop shops’ visit the Upper Hunter region

The Agency’s first Drought Community Outreach Events since the COVID-19 pandemic were recently held in Quirindi, Scone, Merriwa and Coolah to support farmers and regional communities living through the immediate and longer-term effects of drought.

It was great to get back out into regional communities and there is clearly a need for these events in regional Australia, as around 335 people came long,

The  one stop shops brought together Government and non-government service providers, including, Rotary, Rural Financial Counselling Service, NSW Farmers, NSW Rural Resilience, Local Land Services, The Salvation Army, GIVIT and Rural Adversity Mental Health Program.

People had access to a range of information, advice, options and financial assistance.  There was strong demand for the Rotary $500 vouchers for drought-affected households.

It was a great opportunity to grab a sausage sandwich, cooked by our partners Rotary, catch up with friends and neighbours to find out what support is available during drought and tough times.

The community events attracted friends, farm families and neighbours into town which created a wonderful community vibe. One community member commented that ‘it was the busiest they had seen Coolah since last Christmas!’

The message was very clear that despite recent rains and the potential for better times ahead, many people in the Upper Hunter region are still dealing with the impacts of drought and may be for some time.