WA hay drive to help east

27 Feb, 2014 01:00 AM
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Semi-trailers loaded with hay on their way to Bourke in the Burrumbuttock to Bourke hay run in New South Wales in early February. Brendan Farrell, who was instrumental in organising the hay run has been assisting Esperance farmers Anne Bell and Sam Starcevich in their hay drive from WA.
I really felt then that we needed to do something
Semi-trailers loaded with hay on their way to Bourke in the Burrumbuttock to Bourke hay run in New South Wales in early February. Brendan Farrell, who was instrumental in organising the hay run has been assisting Esperance farmers Anne Bell and

THE WA farming community has banded together to help farmers in Queensland, New South Wales and South Australia who are struggling with drought conditions.

A hay drive has been organised by two inspirational Esperance farmers, Sam Starcevich and Anne Bell, and the pair have received donations of hay, trucks, time and money from throughout WA.

Ms Starcevich and Ms Bell heard about the plight of farmers in the east and having been in similar situations, wanted to do something to help.

Ms Bell said she first had an idea that they should be doing something when she was baling hay with her husband at the end of last year.

"I really felt then that we needed to do something," she said.

"We have had a few good years in a row and we have a backlog of hay and we actually cut more than we had anticipated last year.

"It started out as a simple idea but then thinking about the logistics of getting it over there was a big challenge.

"I was then put in touch with Sam who was trying to do the same thing and we got together and had a chat and started on this journey."

Ms Bell said that in times like this it was important that the agricultural community banded together.

"We just wanted to let them know they are not alone," she said.

"We have all been in that situation and we wanted to do something that would make a difference.

"If something like this makes the difference to able to keep core stock then its worth it."

Ms Bell and Ms Starcevich were put in touch with Brendan Farrell, a NSW truck driver who organised the Burrumbuttock to Bourke hay run in early February.

Mr Farrell has helped with contacts and the logistics of getting the hay across the border.

The women set up a Facebook page in early February and have already received more than 1500 likes and countless offers of help, from people donating hay and trucks, to money donations for fuel for the journey.

Ms Bell said since then they have had an amazing response.

"We have 700 bales to date, but we are hoping for 1000 and are aiming for between 18 and 20 trucks to make the trip," she said.

The first three road trains are set to leave from Jerdacuttup on the last weekend in March.

They will then join the other trucks along the way and pick up hay in Esperance and Salmon Gums before heading across the border to arrive at Bourke, NSW, on April 4.

They will be sourcing hay until March 5 and were calling on anyone to donate their trucks to transport the hay.

Money donations for fuel were also possible through the Rotary Club of Sydney.

See the Farmers Across Borders, Hay from WA Facebook page for more details or contact Anne Bell on 9075 1118 or Sam Starcevich on 9076 0031 for more information.

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