It’s almost six weeks since the hail storm ripped through the region leaving a trail of destruction. In a matter of 15 minutes many primary producers from Cadell to Yamba had their lives and their 2017 incomes severely disrupted.
The storm was erratic in it’s choice of victims, smashing selected properties and crops and miraculously sparing neighbours. In the weeks immediately following, the evidence was plain to see. With much of the clean-up now being completed and with nature working its magic, passers-by could be forgiven for being unaware that such devastation had been inflicted on the chosen few.
Notwithstanding that and in anticipation of the challenges to come, Riverland Wine wrote to PIRSA management several days after the event and offered financial support for the reintroduction of the Family and Business mentor program, known as FaB Scouts (FaBS) that operated in support of all farming communities during the drought period. Minister Bignell welcomed the initiative and the department has matched the offer and allocated resources to facilitate the program.
In the early part of January, Riverland Wine and PIRSA will select a small group of FaBS, provide induction training and raise awareness of the program across the community.
For those who’ve been affected and will have depleted incomes over the next 12 months, it’s important to understand the Scouts will be rural-based people who understand the local situation and in most cases have been through similar experiences. They will be available to visit and listen on a confidential basis and provide information on who may be able to offer help and support including community counsellors or professionals including health professionals or financial planners.
Keep an eye on this column and an ear on the radio for further information and contact details.
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