Tassie mates pitch in for farmers
IT is the ultimate case of mates helping mates, when a group of Tasmanians flew into Emerald late last month ready to help repair rural fencing decimated by the floods.
About 20 men volunteered for the trip from Tasmania, as members of the Volunteer Flood Relief Team, to repair fences in the regions east and west of Springsure.
The idea was initiated by local landholder Leon Clothier through the Rotary network who called for assistance from the Fitzroy Basin Association and Central Highlands Regional Resource Use Project.
Tasmanian volunteer Norm Cairns said this was not a case of charity, but of mates helping mates.
Mr Cairns said about half the volunteers were tradesmen and the other half farmers, but most had some farming background.
It’s not the first time they have helped those in need, volunteering during Victoria’s devastating bushfires.
“We experienced the 1967 bushfires, when 62 people died, so we like to be involved when others need help,” he said. “We will spend two weeks here, but we expect to come up again later in the year. Others have already put their hands up to come...”
FBA chief executive Suzie Christensen said Rotary had put the call out for volunteers, while the FBA and CHRRUP provided support for landholders and organised housing for the volunteers.
“They will be working on fencing in areas east and west of Springsure,” Ms Christensen said.
“Some of the hardest hit were those on the Springsure to Tambo road, so the team will be working there.
“The floodwaters reached the roofs of the houses on some of these properties.”
She said other groups had also helped, with Aussie Helpers bringing cooks from Dalby to feed the volunteers, and BMA, Rio Tinto and Bunnings helping out with equipment.