THANKFUL: Volunteers at Granite Belt Drought Assist have been left thankful knowing that their help is appreciated.
THANKFUL: Volunteers at Granite Belt Drought Assist have been left thankful knowing that their help is appreciated.

‘Livelihood annihilated’ farmer shows her gratitude

VOLUNTEERS at Granite Belt Drought Assist (GBDA) are on top of the world knowing that their time dedicated to the community is appreciated.

GBDA came to the aid of Dalveen farmer Rebecca Bell after her Top Swan Fels property was turned to ashes within 54 minutes in the September bushfires.

“We just had our entire livelihood annihilated,” Mrs Bell said.

“There has been times where you just can’t stop crying. You think there has got to be no more tears left.”

Mrs Bell said she hopes to have the opportunity to give back to all the people who helped her when she needed it most.

“Down the track I hope we are able to help them as well and can give back for all the things that they have done for us,” she said.

She said the initial help from GBDA supported her in being eligible for future grants to help begin the rebuilding process.

“It was absolutely amazing what they did.

“It was Glenda that introduced us to Drought Angels at a meeting in Stanthorpe,” she said.

On top of loosing her property, Mrs Bell also lost 175 angus breeders, 123 calves and two bulls.

“Yes, we’ve lost cattle, our livelihood and our income, but we have gained so much more having full gratitude for what people have done.

“Even though I have only met Glenda twice I feel like I could ring her up and go and have a coffee with her.

“You make friendships. Even though it’s a tragedy it brings everyone together.”

“We will never call it quits. It’s in our blood and we fought right until the very last fire.

“We will move forward. There’s no other option than not too.”

Granite Belt Drought Assist co-manager Glenda Riley said after hearing Mrs Bell’s story, GBDA did everything they could to help.

“She sent us her story and it wasn’t a very good story,” Ms Riley said.

“We were doing a fodder drop thanks to MAA and made sure they got 20 bales of hay.

“Barbara and I got in the car to see how they were and took out a bootload of grocers and feeders for the calves.

“It certainly gave them hope to stay strong,” she said.