Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Farmers donate hay for stock in fire ravaged district

A Lockington Lions club member has been taking hay donations to the VFF emergency distribution centre in Lancefield.

ELAINE COONEY February 25, 2014 4:10am

Lions HayWendy Sims

Lockington and district residents have been out in force, helping Kilmore and Wallan residents recover from recent fires.

Lockington Lions volunteer Giles Cary has been busy collecting fodder from farmers in the area and transporting truckloads to a VFF distribution centre in Lancefield.

He said the bulk of the hay came from two farmers in Kotta and another in Prairie.

Kotta farmer David Hammond said he and his neighbour, Andrew Christian, teamed up to donate a semi-load trailer of hay bales after seeing the plea for fodder in the newspaper last week.

He said the VFF was organising agistment for animals for a longer-term solution, but needed urgent fodder.

‘‘I don’t like to see animals in distress,’’ he said.

Mr Hammond and Mr Christian sacrificed 32 round bales which were selling for $70 each.

He said he enjoyed helping out because he was a community-minded person who volunteered with the Kotta CFA and hall committees.

“I volunteer freely without expectations of anything, even thanks,’’ he said.

‘‘The firefighters do it all the time and don’t expect thanks.’’

Mr Cary said the farmers in need were pleased with the fodder because some animals had been without food for three days.

He spoke to some farmers whose houses were the only surviving buildings on their properties.

Bamawm resident and Victorian Church Council volunteer Bill Cochrane also visited the fire-ravaged areas last week, to check people were well and to point them in the right direction for services they needed.

Mr Cochrane said many people felt lucky their families and homes were safe but he encountered a range of different emotions while doorknocking.

‘‘Some were happy to talk and have someone to listen and sometimes we’d cop the full blast of their frustration,’’ he said.

He said the most difficult part was not being able to resolve all of their issues.

Mr Cochrane said some people were upset and some told him they could not find the safe evacuation points.

Others who left were said police would not allow them to return to their homes.

He said he understood their frustrations and the roles of the emergency services to ensure people’s safety.

Mr Cochrane said the main community need was for fodder.

The Lockington Lions and VFF are still collecting fodder for farmers in need.

Mr Cary is filling another truck with hay but needs more donations.

Lockington Lions president Bob McDonald on 54865440 or the VFF on 1300882833 can be contacted with offers of fodder.

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