As Australia battles the worst drought in decades, the Australian Trucking Association, the South Australian Road Transport Association and trailer manufacturer MaxiTRANS are joining Western Australian truckies to lend a hand.
SARTA President Sharon Middleton, SARTA CEO Steve Shearer and ATA CEO Ben Maguire will join volunteers in the inaugural Great Southern Hearts ‘Drive for Life’ as they cart 128 tonnes of donated hay and bagged feed from Western Australia to drought-stricken communities in South Australia and New South Wales.
“The ‘Drive for Life’ campaign kicked off on Monday in Kojonup, and I’ll be joining the crew when they make their way through Ceduna, South Australia, tomorrow,” Mr Maguire said.
“As a farmer myself, I can understand the hardship farmers are facing and the struggles of keeping their livelihood afloat.
“Thanks to the support of MaxiTRANS and ATA Foundation Sponsors Volvo, BP and NTI, we’ve been able to join the drive and help those in need,” he said.
MaxiTRANS have generously loaned the ATA a drop-deck Tautliner trailer to assist in the delivery of bagged feed to Rankin Springs, NSW.
MaxiTRANS Group General Manager Sales & Marketing, Andrew McKenzie said, “MaxiTRANS had been discussing how it could provide a more systemic and sustainable contribution to those adversely impacted by the drought.
“While a one-off cash contribution is always well received, providing free access to trailers to help deliver much needed supplies allows us to stretch our contribution to help so many more people while they need it most.
“Partnering with the ATA and its Foundation Sponsors felt like the most natural fit – literally pulling together as a team to deliver much needed relief to those affected communities.”
SARTA President Sharon Middleton said, “The trucking industry supports the community’s daily lifestyle day in day out. It’s a strong Australian tradition to lend a helping hand to those in need, so SARTA and our members are pleased to be able to help our farmers.”
The Great Southern Hearts ‘Drive for Life’ was established by trucking operators Glenn ‘Yogi’ Kendall of Kendall Trucking & Co and Peter Wright of Peter Wright Transport to help those in need while promoting the transport industry and regional businesses.
“It started off with just Peter and I thinking we should do something to help those doing it tough, but before we knew it we had support coming in from other operators as well as various feed companies and farmers,” Mr Kendall said.
Western Australian companies Kojonup Feeds, Broomehill Stock Feeds, Bar Feeds, and the local community have donated an estimated $100,000 worth of hay, feed and money towards the ‘Drive for Life.’
“Everyone is volunteering and doing this off their own back, investing time, equipment and resources. It’s really the true Australian way to look after each other,” Mr Kendall said.
“I’m really chuffed to have the assistance of the ATA and all those involved. I’m just one voice with one truck, so it’s great to have their support,” he said.
The ‘Drive for Life’ will deliver hay and feed to not-for-profit community organisations in the Kimba district of South Australia, and Rankin Springs and Gunnedah, New South Wales.
Words by Australian Trucking Association