Springborg visits drought affected Longreach
MEMBER for the Southern Downs, Lawrence Springborg, has followed in the footsteps of several residents from his electorate who have visited Longreach to help out the drought-affected town.
Mr Springborg arrived yesterday and will also spend today there as he gets a first-hand look at the impact the Big Dry has had on the region as Leader of the Opposition.
"There is a growing awareness of what is happening in Longreach," Mr Springborg said.
"We want the people of Queensland to be aware of what's going on and we want to show the people of Longreach that people in positions of authority are keen to help."
Mr Springborg's visit came just one day after several volunteers from Warwick and surrounding areas visited to donate bales of hay, boxes of food and other essential items.
The Southern Downs has rallied behind the community, thanks largely to the work of the Community Disaster Relief Van.
"I'm very proud of what many people on the Southern Downs have been doing," he said.
"I've been astounded by the generosity of some people - I actually bumped into some of the people from Killarney who were donating goods.
"I know all of the donated items have been very much appreciated.
"The only thing that's been said to me is that perhaps instead of items, some cash would be good because then that could be put back into the community by supporting local businesses.
"Those little businesses are absolutely crucial and it's important they are still there after the drought because they support a lot of people in the town."
Mr Springborg said the purpose of the visit was to see the impact of the drought first-hand and see what could be done.
"The only thing to really fix it is rain," Mr Springborg said.
"I've seen a lot of droughts but this one is pretty tough - it's great to be able to get out and talk to people face-to-face.
"I've seen some people with the capacity for 14,000 sheep, who are down to 3000 sheep and still de-stocking. Then they're wondering if they're going to be able to buy that stock back when the drought is finished.
"The LNP basically doubled the government assistance when we were in government and to be fair, the current (Palaszczuk) government has carried it through."