Drought Support Program helps Central Highlands farmers
WITH the dry season in full swing, life on the land is getting more and more difficult for farmers and their families.
But support is now just a phone call and a cup of tea away with Centacare's Drought Support Program.
The fully-funded program, offering a counsellor and three drought support workers, is part of the Federal Government's Drought Assistance Package and is aimed at giving farmers the advice, support and helping hand they need.
Counsellor Cindy Robinson said setting up at Ag-Grow was a great way to spread awareness of the program to a majority of local farmers.
"We have been on deck now for four weeks and have been doing a lot of networking, letting people know we are around," counsellor Cindy Robinson said. "We service six shires - Central Highlands, Isaac, Blackall, Tambo, Barcoo, Longreach and Barcaldine."
Cindy said she hoped the team could give farming families assistance they may not have known was available.
"A lot of them don't know what assistance is available, or if they have applied for assistance and been declined, for some crazy reason - they may not know they can appeal," she said.
"It is a family support-based service. Our support workers operate with families around what assistance is available, helping them fill out Centrelink forms, linking them into existing services in the community, and then we have the mental health component of the program as well. We can talk to mum, dad the kids - everyone.
"It is more about having a cuppa and a general chat, getting your foot in the door that way. We are hoping that we can provide assistance to farmers that need it, and link them in with services, so that after our program funding has gone, which is December 30, they will have the contacts so they can still maintain the services."