Farmers too busy to apply for help

Bryan Shore at his family’s fire-affected property at Gilmore.

THERE is plenty of fire relief funds from the likes of the state and federal governments and organisations like St Vincent de Paul and Red Cross, but some farmers are too busy keeping their farms viable to apply for it.

Harold Shore’s 1200-hectare Gilmore property was hit by the Dunns Road fire and 75 sheep and about 27 kilometres of fencing was lost, and most of the paddocks burnt.

“The fire came across the Batlow Road and straight over the top of us,” he said.

“Luckily we had three paddocks closer to Tumut and they had a lot of our stock on them.”

The farm has about 1500 sheep and 480 cattle.

“It went close to the house but it was alright,” Mr Shore said.

The farm has received some much-needed relief.

“We got semi-loads of hay from Local Land Services; that was very much appreciated,” he said.

He and his family have not applied for government help.

“Not as yet, we’ve been too busy feeding cattle and sheep, and with other things like weaning calves,” he said.

“We’ll be fencing for three years.”

There is a “green tinge” on his paddocks after the rain but there is still a long way to go.

“We’ll be feeding for another six weeks minimum, and if we don’t get substantial rain now, it will be a lot longer,” he said.

The 400-hectare Gilmore farm of John and Tracey Callaway is in a similar position, being impacted by the fire and flooding from the rain that followed it.

About 80 per cent of the property was burnt in the fire, but the six member family managed to save the main house and another, that previously owned by John’s late father.

A lot of fencing, a hay shed full of hay and a pile of silage were lost.

Stock losses were minimal due to the efforts of fire crews.

However and the dams filled with ash and debris due to the rains that followed and flooding occurred.

“It (the flooding) changed the landscape,” Mrs Callaway said.

“Six foot gullies have been turned into crossings.”

The Callaways have not applied for financial help as yet.

“We don’t have time,” Tracey said.

They are too busy feeding stock and mending fences and will only apply when they get time.

Tracey said that ash flowed into the Gilmore Creek and many dead carp, redfin and slipperys had been seen.