Help heads out west
EMERALD's Kyle Mattingley and his convoy of volunteers are on a mission to help devastated farmers deal with the after-effects of flooding and an extreme temperature drop on their properties.
In a text message to his sister Darna Mattingley yesterday, Kyle said it was "heartbreaking” to see "so many lonely calves” had died on their own when temperatures in the Central West plummeted earlier this month.
The local crew, who left Emerald on Monday for the seven to 10-day trek, took a bulldozer and have been using it to 'push' trenches and bury dead stock.
The team includes Matt and Ash Travers from Springsure who took their truck, Mitch Wright and Brenton Woods also from Springsure, and Andrew Slack who left on Tuesday morning with his own truck.
They have a semi, excavator and skid steer, bulldozer and two loaders with them and yesterday worked at Nuken, about 100km west of Winton, and they are now travelling to Fairview, Clio and Wanora Downs.
Mr Mattingley's GoFundMe page, 'Help Kyle head out west to help our farmers', has already raised more than $12,500 in the past seven days.
An estimated 4000 litres of fuel will be needed per machine for the week, an enormous expense that motivated the set-up of the GoFundMe page with any leftover funds to be donated to a charity working in those regions.
Mr Mattingley said he has been "overwhelmed” by the outpouring of local support, including AAA Tilt-tray Towing who transported his loader and excavator for free and will transport them back.
The trailer on Mr Mattingley's truck was lent by Mitchell's Heavy Repairs while Rod's Auto Electrics donated parts for a couple of machine repairs before the volunteers headed west.
Home-made food from Emerald, Capella and Springsure has also been taken. Also, the Shorty9ers RL are auctioning a football jersey on Facebook, with bids closing today.
The Travers family has made a plea for help in rebuilding fencing with plans to take supplies on another trip in March.
"We are chasing any and all fencing supplies, new or old, to assist our fellow farmers and graziers. Any donation of any size will be much needed and appreciated,” they said.
Donations can be made to the GoFundMe or to Darna on 0439296129. To check drop-off points for fencing materials contact Donna Travers via Facebook.