The North Queensland Toyota Cowboys have been congratulated for auctioning off their Auckland Nine jerseys and raising $21,065 for the Buy a Bale charity to help farmers through the drought.
Minister for Agricultural, Fisheries and Forestry John McVeigh said it was great to see a regional Queensland team win the inaugural competition but even better that it was using that success to raise much needed money for struggling farmers.
“The Buy a Bale charity provides support for farmers by delivering hay and other essential items to those who have no feed left for their cattle,” Mr McVeigh said.
“I know many of the farmers currently dealing with the drought are great supporters of the Cowboys and would be very grateful the team they support is now assisting them in this difficult time.
“This team typifies everything about the bush and everywhere I go, you will always find a Cowboys flag or jersey hanging up in the local hotel or local shop in regional Queensland.
“Since joining the NRL in 1995 many of the North Queensland Cowboys players have come from the areas impacted by the current drought, so they know exactly what farmers are going through.”
Mr McVeigh said 70 per cent of Queensland was now drought declared and while there had been some rain in the north-west and central-west of the state, it had been very patchy and many areas had missed out.
“Pasture conditions have continued to deteriorate and producers have needed to supplement feed stock for some months now,” he said.
“Last month the Premier and I announced a significant boost for drought support in Longreach with a $20 million package.
“This is in addition to the $11.2 million we announced in May last year, taking our total commitment to more than $31 million.
“This is a record spend and $5 million more than the previous record which was in 2007-2008.”
Donations to the Buy a Bale campaign can be made via buyabale.com.au.
Main image: John McVeigh, Aaron Payne, Charles Alder, Sam Cox