This week officially heralded the beginning of the Bushfire season with fires affecting every state and territory of Australia – most significantly in South East Queensland and around the NSW border.
These devastating fires that fiercely damaged homes and land in Stanthorpe, Mt Tamborine and Peregian Beach over the last week are very much a part of the ongoing drought that’s been challenging rural and regional communities in Queensland, NSW and South Australia since the start of 2017.
With hotter than normal temperatures over the last two summers and drier than usual winters – Australia’s annual rains have failed to arrive in many of our major farming areas and, as the drought goes on, the threat of fire increases drastically.
The continuing drought has a major impact on the agriculture sector – from livestock, wool and dairy jobs, to vegetables and grain, with farmers everywhere experiencing huge challenges as they try to maintain production with little or no water.
Partnering with our clients who range from family owned farming operations to ASX listed agribusiness, the Agri Labour Australia recruitment team are always at the forefront of the industry and seeing the changes in demand for workers in some areas.
While Victoria is set for a bumper crop, according to the Australian Bureau of Agriculture and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES), the annual Australian Grain Harvest in Queensland will be down 60% less than its ten year average and NSW, more than 50% less.
This kind of economic impact resulting from drought is far reaching – businesses, families and workers are all hurt financially, followed by the impact on their rural communities and the diminishment of key services such as education, retail and medical in those areas.
For those of you who have friends and family affected by the fires and this epic drought, we urge you to lend your support through these tough times.
In the spirit of R U OK? Day on 12 September, it’s a good time to make a call or pay a visit to see how our rural and regional friends are really doing.