Life on the land in Australia


Drought photographic exhibition tours Queensland to raise awareness of farmers’ plight

 Cattle running in the sunset. Supplied Centacare CQ image www.ozrural.com

It is hoped an exhibition of photographs from one of Queensland’s most drought-affected regions will hang in Brisbane’s Parliament House to raise awareness about the impact of the dry.

The welfare agency Centacare CQ organised the exhibition, called “Drought … what next?” as a visual tribute to life on the land during drought, in the state’s central-west.

Spokeswoman Ricki Jeffrey said many people are reporting the worst conditions in three generations, and a travelling display was identified as one way to highlight the severity of the situation.

A farmer working on his bore and generator image www.ozrural.com

“So we are looking at [taking it to] Parliament House in Brisbane, we are just waiting for a time for that, and we are also looking at Canberra,” she said.

The exhibition was shown in Longreach, where it met with positive reviews from landholders involved.

Ms Jeffrey said Centacare CQ received federal funding to help drought-affected families earlier this year, but many families were telling the organisation they did not require counselling or family support services at this time.

She said staff have been working in the Barcaldine, Blackall/Tambo, Barcoo, Longreach, Isaac and Central Highlands local government areas, to support communities and families to build resilience and maintain relationships.

farmer watches on as cattle seek shelter in shade and drink water.image www.ozrural.com

“Our sense is that when we deliver services, it is much better to find out what people in communities need or want,” she said.

Overwhelmingly, we were told people going through this drought really wanted people in the towns, along the coast and in the cities, just to remember them and that would make a significant difference to their wellbeing,” she said.

Centacare CQ, whose funding for the drought program runs out in December, said the drought was causing enormous hardship, with some people losing their homes, properties and sometimes their lives.

It said the exhibition aimed to document the havoc being caused by the seasonal conditions, and the human cost associated with the dry.

Ms Jeffrey said while there had been amazing generosity already shown by city areas, she was worried people do not understand how long it will take parched regions to recover.

Cows drinking water. (Supplied Centacare CQ)image www.ozrural.com

“I don’t think people understand how severe it is, and that was the idea behind the exhibition – to have something visual, so that people didn’t forget how bad it was and could see that 20 millimetres, even 100 millimetres – isn’t going to solve this issue.

The exhibition will also travel to Emerald and Barcaldine next year, and other local governments are being asked to hang the images.

A calendar has also been produced as part of the “Drought … what next?” project for landholders across the region.

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Henry Sapiecha

December 18th, 2014
Topic: CAMERAS PHOTOS, DROUGHTS FLOODS Tags: , , , , , , , ,

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