Hanson joins convoy to donate to water-starved residents
HEARING reports of drought-related suicides on the Granite Belt and people at breaking point was all it took for one woman to do something.
Rachael Eddy, of Jimboomba, is a business owner, mother and wife.
So fed up with the lack of political action, Mrs Eddy stepped to the fore and started up the Let’s Send Them a Truck Load initiative.
On Saturday, Mrs Eddy and supporters joined a convoy of 10 trucks that delivered close to 220,000 litres of water to Granite Belt Drought Assist.
She made a similar trip back in September with more than 60,000 litres.
A pretty familiar face joined the voyage from Brisbane this time, with Senator Pauline Hanson jumping in a truck after donating to the cause herself.
“I went on the Burrumbuttock Hay Run three times. This is the first time I’ve been on a water run,” Senator Hanson said.
“Same reaction from the community – they are so grateful and appreciative. People here are on their knees.
“People lose faith in their politicians. Do they really understand what is happening in our communities?
“Whether it’s fire, drought, or you haven’t got feed for your stock – I think when you take the time and effort to connect with the people they appreciate it.
“I’m not looking for credit in any way shape or form. I can take the message back (to Canberra) and my involvement means they’re not forgotten by parliament.”
Senator Hanson said people in rural and regional Australia felt isolated, without a voice.
“I’m seeing it all the time. They’re feeling forgotten and that parliament doesn’t understand grassroots Australia.
“People in the cities don’t understand. There’s a lot of sympathy, but they can still turn on their taps.
“People of Stanthorpe – you are not forgotten. I will do the best I possibly can to bring awareness and keep fighting for the people. I won’t let you be forgotten.”
Mrs Eddy urged Prime Minister Scott Morrison to open his eyes to the reality of the Granite Belt’s crisis.
“We’re being told not to run around like it’s a crisis, but that’s what it is,” she said.
“We’re not a third world country. We need help from the government.
“This is the worst drought we’ve ever faced and the government needs to step up.
“People here are close to breaking point.
“Hearing reports today that there’s been five people take their life … one is too many.
“I didn’t ever want to hear that there’s been someone who has taken their life because they have no other answer,” an emotional Eddy said.
Of the 220,000 litres, 14,000 has been set aside for stock water, with the rest for domestic purposes.
“All up we’ve had about $16,000 donated and that’s what we’ve used to purchase the water.”
She said they’ll deliver water as long as the need remains.