Sending feed: Miners dig deep for drought-affected farmers

Three truck loads of hay were delivered in the Peak Hill district on Tuesday.

FEED: Local CFMEU Lodge president Curtis Jones (right) with farmer Brad Ellis, from Goroke Victoria, purchasing the hay last week. Picture: SUPPLIED.

FEED: Local CFMEU Lodge president Curtis Jones (right) with farmer Brad Ellis, from Goroke Victoria, purchasing the hay last week. Picture: SUPPLIED.

It is the result of a donation of more than $40,000 from workers at the Springvale and Angus Place collieries and their parent company Centennial Coal.  

CFMEU Lodge spokesperson Ben Smith said there was a lot of discussion among workers about a lack of government support for farmers. 

“There’s one thing we're good at, raising funds,” he said. 

“Everyone put up their hand to do something.”

Workers from Springvale and Angus Place agreed to take a $100 levy out of their wages, raising more than $35,000. 

Centennial Coal, which owns the two mines, came to the party with a donation of $5000. 

The funds have been used to purchase three semi-trailer loads of hay. 

READY TO GO: Local CFMEU representatives, fundraisers and volunteer drivers gather ahead of delivery. Pictured are (back) Brett Monaghan, Brent McDonald, Curtis Jones, Ben Smith, Adam Morrisey, (front) Graham Ford, John Cummings and Joe Smith.

READY TO GO: Local CFMEU representatives, fundraisers and volunteer drivers gather ahead of delivery. Pictured are (back) Brett Monaghan, Brent McDonald, Curtis Jones, Ben Smith, Adam Morrisey, (front) Graham Ford, John Cummings and Joe Smith.

They will be delivered to areas of need, which have been identified with the help of charity Aussie Helpers. 

CFMEU Lodge president Curtis Jones spoke to the wife of one of the farmers who would be taking a delivery of some of the hay and she told him it could not have come at a better time. 

“Turns out they were trying to organise hay to be delivered but couldn’t get anyone to pick it up because all the trucks were too busy,” he said. 

“They were down to their last week of feed.”

Finding a source for stock feed was a challenge, due to shortages.

Two loads of hay were sourced from Goroke in Victoria, while another was found in Wagga Wagga. 

Truck drivers were quick to put up their hands to help deliver the aid, and the remaining seats were in high demand. 

“I’ve been asked by a fair few blokes who would like one of those seats,” Mr Smith said. 

“The chance to go on a trip for the joy of being able to help out other people, it doesn’t come around too often.”

The cash left over from the donations will be to purchase goods at the closest centres. 

“We recognise it’s not just farmers, but the little towns, that are having hard times, so we’ll be buying dog food, that kind of thing,” Mr Smith said. 

He thanked the owners and operators of the semi-trailers (Carol and Brent McDonald and Adam Morrissey) and Grahame and Sue Jenkins from Central Cranes Lithgow for the use of their trailer.

“Thank you to Logan Signs Lithgow for the outstanding work on the designs for our banners,” he said. 

Look Out: These banners will be hanging from the trucks as they hit the road.

Look Out: These banners will be hanging from the trucks as they hit the road.