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Lifeline donates bottle depot proceeds to farmers in need

By Belinda Sanders, Wednesday June 17, 2020 - 09:15 EST
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Derek Tuffield says more than 8 million bottles have been processed at the Toowoomba depot. - ABC

The proceeds from 13 million recycled bottles have helped drought-affected farmers in southern Queensland keep their stock alive.

Lifeline Darling Downs, which operates depots in Toowoomba and Dalby and receives a processing fee as part of the container refund scheme, has raised more than $60,000.

Chief executive Derek Tuffield said most of the money had gone to producers in the Warwick and Stanthorpe region.

"What we're seeing coming through is a number of farmers carrying large feed bills that are worrying them at the moment," he said.

"[They are] seeking assistance to try and pay off that money."

Mr Tuffield said the charity had been making direct payments to farmers.

"We've been making payments of $500 to $750 direct to those accounts," he said.

"It's not a huge amount, but it's something to say, 'We know you're doing it tough at the moment.'"

He said farmers who wanted to apply for help would usually receive the funds within 48 hours of filling out a two-page form.

"They've copped the trifecta, they've copped the drought, then they've copped the bushfires, and then they've copped COVID-19," he said.

"Not only has it affected tourism, but for farmers on the land, they're still buying water in some cases.

"More help is needed, and that's the hotspot we're identifying at the moment."

Mr Tuffield said Lifeline would consider rotating the beneficiaries of its scheme, depending on what the needs were in the community.


© ABC 2020

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