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Cash splash at rural towns

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A road trip has invested more than $26,000 into rural towns affected by the ongoing drought.

We Care Road Trip organiser Anne-Marie Best said a busload of shoppers departed Newcastle to spend cash in Murrurundi, Narrabri, Moree and Manilla as a show of support.

She added it had been an eye-opening experience.

“As we got to Murrurundi, it was starting to dry out,” she said.

“A lot of people were shocked when we got to Moree and then, when we went through Warialda and down to Manilla, the paddocks were empty, there was no stock, and no weeds either – it was just dust.
“In Narrabri, a [farming] couple told us that it was the first time in 51 years that they’d had no cattle, they’d totally destocked.”

Some of the dry conditions. Photo: Jeannie Lawson

The trip managed to raise $10,585 through seat sales and donations, as well as a raffle and auction.

A further $892 was also injected into Murrurundi, $1,697 in Narrabri, $12,683 amid an overnight stay in Moree, and $966 in Manilla.

The funds were handed over to the Moree Country Women’s Association for distribution.

Mrs Best said the Moree community was particularly grateful for the much-needed economic boost, with the town’s mayor, Katrina Humphries, CWA representatives and business leaders all attending a special Meet and Greet event.

“The drought has dropped off the radar in the media a bit,” Mrs Best said.
“It’s not over when it rains – the moisture in the sub-soil has to build up and they don’t want too much rain too soon.

“It is a hard life out there, but we had some amazing feedback and people [on the trip] got a lot out of it.”

The road trip followed an inaugural event last September, which had a total financial impact of $27,705 and included stops at Merriwa, Gulargambone, Coonabarabran and Willowtree.

Mrs Best said she hoped to organise a third road trip later this year.

She reserved special praise for major sponsor, Grace Coaches, for its donation of bus, driver and fuel during both trips.

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