Several weeks ago, after the hailstorm, Riverland Wine contacted PIRSA and offered to fund a FAB Scout for up to six months to assist with those experiencing difficulties as a result of the losses caused by the storm. Minister Bignell wasted no time accepting and matching the offer. Plans are now well under way and in coming weeks Riverland Wine and PIRSA will establish terms of employment and set about identifying those from our farming communities who may be able to form part of the Fab Scouts team.
Many will recall from the ‘drought years’ the insidious side effects of the drought, especially the cash-flow drought and the emotional impact on families. As yet there is no definite estimate of the dollar impact on the region but it will be an extreme hardship for those whose livelihoods were blown away on November 11, 2016. An early estimate suggested as much as $100M damage to the region. If it was evenly spread across all commodities and all farmers and producers, as was the case in the drought years, it seemed a little ‘fairer’ inasmuch as everyone was challenged. The hail-event was not so fair; it selected certain enterprises and gave them a real hiding while leaving neighbours un-harmed. Many could not believe they hardly had a leaf damaged!
Some say, we won’t need the Scouts, if that’s the case, great. No harm done in being ready, just in case!
Most of those impacted have begun dealing with the initial trauma; cleaning-up and repairing and so on. The ‘after-shocks’ will rumble in, often at night-time, when the normal, annual payment cycle falls short but water bills, power bills, telephone bills, school fees, keep arriving. Many of those affected are embarrassed to seek assistance, to sit in public waiting room for ‘counselling’. Others simply don’t know what’s available in terms of ‘support’. Others may need someone just to talk to, to share the load. That’s when the Scouts will be available, to help connect those suffering with those who can lighten the load. RUOK skills will be to the fore.
Image: Copyright: banprik / 123RF Stock Photo