Len Kelman is headed off to Victoria to pick up a truckload of hay and feed for struggling Merriwa farmers.
Len has recently returned to Muswellbrook after a Variety Bash which took him across the state to some of the driest areas.
“I’ve seen just how destitute the farmers are out in the country and it has really inspired me to get this together and get it to happen.”
“I’m originally a Merriwa boy, I’m born and bred there,”
“I was happy to do this on my own but when I mentioned it to a couple of my mates around town at the Workers Club and the RSL Club and a few other sponsors came on board so that really helped,” he said.
The Muswellbrook and District Workers Club and the Muswellbrook RSL have jumped on board to help Len pay for fuel for his son’s truck that he’s taking on the trip and also contribute towards the cost of the feed and hay to be brought up.
“It fills my heart with happiness to do this,” said a teary-eyed Len.
“We are going down to Horsham which is about 1,300 kilometres away and by the time we go and get the hay and distribute it I estimate we will do around 3,000 kilometres.”
“I’m led to believe it’s [hay in NSW] about $300 a square bale of hay and I’m hoping to get close to 60 square bales of hay on the truck.”
Len expects to be back in town on Saturday with the convoy which will head straight to Merriwa Showground by late Sunday afternoon.
The Lions Club’s Need for Feed Disaster Relief will be on deck to help distribute the hay on a needs basis.
“Someone at Merriwa will certainly know who is more worthy of getting some feed and I certainly hope it won't be distributed to the rich and famous who can well afford to buy some but the ones that really can’t and I know there are people out there doing it really really tough,” said Len.
On whether or not our governments are doing enough for our drought-stricken farmers Len said that they could certainly be doing a lot more.
“I think the government should be able to support the farmers especially when they support people overseas, we really need it here, we can see how bad it is, we can read the paper of which the Sunday Telegraph was a typical example,”
“Why should we support overseas countries when we really need to support our own. We have a beautiful country here and I’ve been around the world and this is the best country I’ve ever been and we want to keep it that way, why not help the people in need before we lose it.”
Len has one big message though.
“If someone out there is really doing it tough just make a phone call.”
Image credit: Grant Broadcasters/Jessica Rouse