The Australian Banana Growers’ Council has thrown its support behind a Go Fund Me campaign aiming to assist banana growers affected by the devastating East Coast bushfires.
While fires continue to cause devastation both in NSW and Queensland, growers have so far suffered hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage.
On the Mid North Coast of New South Wales, two growers have lost their entire crop, packing sheds and income for 12 months. Others – in NSW and Queensland - have lost plantings, infrastructure and machinery.
The ABGC’s Chair Stephen Lowe said the council was happy to support the ‘Banana Growers’ Bushfire Appeal’ Go Fund Me campaign as those in the tight-knit banana industry - as well as
concerned community members - had expressed a desire to assist those growers affected.
“Out of a terrible situation, we have received some very kind offers of assistance. It is a real reminder of the wonderful community spirit that exists here in Australia when tragedy strikes,” he said.
“Far North Queensland growers, like myself, have received strong public support in the past after cyclones like Yasi. I look forward to both our fellow growers and the wider community getting behind this Go Fund Me campaign for our southern counterparts.
“While there are only a relatively small number of banana farms affected, these businesses are also smaller - often with just one or a handful of people working on the farm. This means the road to clean-up and recovery is a long one.”
Mr Lowe said industry representatives would work with growers to access any Government assistance available, but differing personal circumstances meant this might not always be an option.
“There are a lot of communities hurting at this time. This Go Fund Me campaign is just one way people can make a small contribution, should they have the means to do so.”