More than 75 tonnes of hay has been delivered to drought-affected farmers in the remote South West Queensland community of Mungallala this week following a Queensland Rail fundraising drive for Rural Aid.
Residents and students welcomed the delivery at Mungallala State School on Thursday after Queensland Rail customers and staff dug deep to raise funds and donate a truckload of hay for the town's farmers.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said Queensland Rail customers and staff joined forces late last year on a range of fundraising activities to support the purchase of more than 230 large bales.
"Dry conditions have created one of the worst droughts in our state's history, devastating Queensland farmers and local families – many of whom are now dealing with the after effects of one the worst floods in our history in the North and North West," Mr Bailey said.
"Thanks to the generosity of Queensland Rail employees and customers on our trains, more than 75 tonnes of hay have now been delivered to help the drought-affected Mungallala community.
"Our farmers have been doing it incredibly tough for some time now, and acts of mateship like this that bring everyone together are truly what being a Queenslander is all about.
"This donation builds upon the $670 million already invested by the Queensland Government in rural communities since the drought began, and more than $10 million worth of fodder donated through Rural Aid since the charity began in 2015.
"Queensland's agriculture industry employs more than 52,800 people and supports hundreds of other industries.
"Despite the challenges thrown at them, our farmers continue to be resilient and face our state's severe weather head on, and it's vital we continue to throw our support behind our farmers and communities like those in Mungallala, and now those in flood-affected North and North West Queensland."
Queensland Rail's CEO Nick Easy said it was great to see such an outpouring of generosity from Queensland Rail's customers and employees.
"This donation is a great example of the Queensland spirit that will hopefully provide some assistance for Mungallala's farmers and the broader community," Mr Easy said.
"Many customers who have travelled on The Westlander train service will have passed Mungallala and seen just how dry it has become over the years. The hay has now been dropped off where local farmers can come and take as much as they need.
"Queensland Rail is a proud supporter of the community in which it operates and is a Queensland company through and through. We're pleased to see this donation come to life and hope it can help make a difference to local farmers in Mungallala.
"In addition to this support for drought-affected farmers, our staff's efforts are now also being directed to ways in which we can also support flood-affected residents and farmers in North and West Queensland, following the devastating flood event of the last several weeks.
"I'm proud of what our staff and customers have been able to do for Mungallala's farmers, and what they are looking to achieve for those in flood-affected Queensland, and hope these donations make a difference for the local communities they reach."
Rural Aid's efforts continue to provide relief for flood-affected farmers, with up to 50 road trains already on their way to North West farmers carrying $350,000 worth of hay.
Donations towards impacted farmers can be made through Rural Aid, which helps to provide essential hay, hampers and water for animals.