Merriwa-Sir Ivan Bushfire Appeal off to a flying start

By lunchtime on Wednesday the Merriwa-Sir Ivan Bushfire Appeal will have purchased more than 20 head of cattle, to be fed at Alexander Downs, with all monies raised going to assist the victims of last weekend's devastating bushfire.

One of the Appeal’s organisers Alexander Down’s principal Robert Gill bought 13 head at Scone on Tuesday and had another five from Singleton today with more expected to be purchased and delivered to his Merriwa district feedlot this week.

“We have been overwhelmed by the community support we have received since we started the Appeal on Monday after a few of us got together on Sunday night to see how best to support those affected by this bushfire which has devastated properties and villages around Cassilis and Coolah,” he said.

“With each passing day we are hearing more terrible stories from those affected its simply heartbreaking. And its not over yet with fires still active and a poor weather forecast for Friday and Saturday.”

The Appeal was given a kick start by the NSW Farmers who donated $5000 into the account which will be run by the organisation through a registered relief fund.

Cattle can either be donated or monies donated to buy cattle which will be fed for 80 days and then processed.

“I can’t impress enough on the public that 100 per cent of the money we receive for those finished cattle will head straight back to the bushfire victims, “ said Mr Gill.

“We hope to lift their spirits and provide some hope – so they know everyone cares and wants them to get through this ordeal.”

One thing has greatly disappointed Mr Gill it is the total lack of contact from local politicians.

“We have heard nothing from them – no offer of support or assistance to get this Appeal organised and underway,” says Mr Gill.

Association President, Derek Schoen, said NSW Farmers was keeping a close eye on the communities impacted by the devastating bushfires.

COMMUNITY SUPPORT: Cattle producer Sandra Watling, Goorangoola with Robert Gill, Alexander Downs with five heifers purchased through Roger Fuller Pty Ltd at Singleton saleyards. The Charolais cross heifers bred by the Watling family averaged 297kg liveweight and are among the first batch of cattle to be part of the Merriwa-Sir Ivan Bushfire Appeal.

COMMUNITY SUPPORT: Cattle producer Sandra Watling, Goorangoola with Robert Gill, Alexander Downs with five heifers purchased through Roger Fuller Pty Ltd at Singleton saleyards. The Charolais cross heifers bred by the Watling family averaged 297kg liveweight and are among the first batch of cattle to be part of the Merriwa-Sir Ivan Bushfire Appeal.

“We’ve seen a lot of livestock destroyed and more than 100 properties damaged or partially damaged as a result of these bushfires.

“We want the local farming community to know it has our full support. Not just now but in the coming weeks, months and years ahead.”

For those wanting to donate cattle please contact:

Pat Ryan: 65485090 mob: 0428485090

Robert Gill: 0418635237 or Alexander Downs  6548 5170

Tony Inder: 65485100 mob: .0427485100

Bank details:

Account Name:  NSW Farmers’ Association Natural Disaster Relief Fund

BSB:   082-057

Account number:  18-215-7040

Bank:   NAB

For anyone wishing to donate hay Robyn and Graham Crow from Singleton are organising a ‘hay run’ in coming weeks.Contact: Robyn Crowe:  0488 495383  or Graham Crow: 0412495383 

The story Merriwa-Sir Ivan Bushfire appeal up and running first appeared on The Singleton Argus.

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