Through drought, look out for each other

Much attention and significant resources have been given to the ongoing drought in Eastern Australia.

Conditions have been tough here on Eyre Peninsula as well - and there is no doubt that producers on Eastern EP have been through the most difficult seasonal conditions in probably fifty years.

If we consider the impact of frost and add the effect POMS has had on the availability of oyster spat and the subsequent difficulties for our oyster growers, we have challenging times for our communities.

Congratulations must go to the organisers of last weekend's 'Growing Together' forum in Cowell.

The event was the brainchild of Steve Whillas, who has done an extraordinary job coordination the delivery of donated straw and hay to farmers in need across EP as part of the work of the EPIC Charitable Trust.

Steve also works as one of three Family and Business Scouts on EP.

Supporting Steve was 'Mentally Fit EP' of which former Streaky Bay girl Lain Montgomerie is a key coordinator along with Jo Clarke from Port Lincoln.

The Franklin Harbour District Council wellbeing coordinator Jasmin Piggott is also to be congratulated for her work.

During the day many (mostly local) presenters gave their insights into ways to successfully navigate challenging times.

All the guests spoke from their own valuable experiences and covered topics including mental and physical health to succession planning and everything in between.

For those with businesses in difficulty, the message from the State government's Rural Business Support is to not 'self-assess.'

Confidential advice is available from experienced rural financial counsellors working under this banner.

The two guest speakers at Saturday night's dinner were David Head, farmer from Tininara (formerly Wharminda) and the always eloquent former AFL footballer Sam Kekovich.

The weekend continued with a packed family fun day at the town oval on Sunday.

Thanks to the many sponsors who made the events possible and the very capable emcee, Brooke Neindorf.

I guess the take-home message for me as we all begin to look to the sky for the autumn break, was 'take care of ourselves, look out for each other.'

PETER TRELOAR

Member for Flinders