Local News

Len Kelman is heading back up the Upper Hunter to help drought-stricken farmers


Muswellbrook truckie Len Kelman is heading back up the Upper Hunter to help drought-stricken farmers.

Len was a part of the last convoy of trucks that made their way to Victoria to pick up hay and bring it back up to Merriwa at the end of last month.

This time though he’s going to be taking water to the Upper Hunter.

The Lions Club has jumped on board to help Len with the mission as a part of Need for Feed.

Muswellbrook Shire Council is providing 12,000 litres of water free each day and there will also be assistance from Upper Hunter Shire Council.

Len says it’s a cause close to his heart.

“Stock and people can’t go without water. I want to see our farmers out there get a decent shower and a decent drink so they can perform the duties that are needed to keep this wonderful country going,” he said.

The 30,000-litre tank has been provided by Scott Harvey’s SRH Haulage and the truck has been lent to Len from his son.

“We had to get one that was certified to cart portable water and that’s been donated by SRH, Scott Harvey he’s come to the party and my son has donated the truck and I’m donating the labour.”

“It gives me encouragement to see the gratitude of those people that are receiving the benefits of the Lions Club and what they’ve organised.”

Maitland Lions president and vice-district governor Geoff Kilmurray said the logistics of the operation will be very key.

“We will have a letterbox drop in your community for where the truck will be,” he said.

A date and an area will be on the letter and those who need water can go and fill up.

 “The main thing is to be patient.”

“Lenny will have a recording system, you’ll have to fill your name out, your address out and write down exactly how much water you have received. This is only for Lenny and the Lions interest, it does not go to the DPI or anything like that,”

“It’s just so we can keep track of who is getting water on the day,” said Geoff.

It’s a cause not only close to Len but all of the Lions.

“When we were up at Muswellbrook that’s when we first realised that we were covering the hampers and we were covering the hay but one lady said the coffee is lovely but I have no water to make a cup of coffee and that’s when we realised we had to do something about water,” said Dierdre from the Belmont Lions.

She added that the Lions plan on hosting a lot of events around Christmas for families and children as well.

Another truck convoy will be heading off at the end of the month as a part of Need for Feed, for the New England region and the western parts of the Upper Hunter.

Image credit: Grant Broadcasters/Jessica Rouse.