Over 20,000 signatures on #dollarfordrought petition

UPDATE: More than 20,000 people have signed Jack Neilson's campaign. 

Comments of support have flowed for the drought-stricken farmer. 

Sally Vega from Melbourne commented on his page and said:  "Jack, you are a hero in my eyes because you produce the food for Australians in circumstances which test your courage and perseverance.

"I have chosen to support Aussie Farmers and have done so for 7 years because without the farmers we would not have the variety of produce available to us, something which the big supermarkets fail to acknowledge.

"I buy all my fruit and vegetables from Aussie Farmers because I would rather help a struggling farmer than help an already wealthy supermarket chain become wealthier.

"I will continue to do this because the produce is fresher and I would be delighted to donate a gold coin when shopping. I do hope more Australians get behind the farmers and that you are able to continue doing the important work you are doing Jack.

"I wish you and your family the best for the future and hope that the heavens open in regional Queensland where it is much needed."

Pat Barlow from Brisbane said: "Because I am an AUSSIE and in hard times we should stand together and help each other. Helping other countries is great but CHARITY BEGINS AT HOME."

Robbie Fayle said: "Grass roots families need support. Corporations get richer, the poor get poorer. It's getting worse."

SATURDAY: "You've just got to keep going, there's no giving up, you can't walk away, it will rain one day."

This is the mantra drought-stricken Boulia farmer Jack Neilson uses to get through each day.

It's been five years since his family's 110,000 acre property saw decent rain.

The once thriving cattle station is left with only 1000 head.

Their second 50,000 acre property south of Longreach is completely destocked.

"We're feeding the cattle a protein lick so they'll eat what's left of the dead grass on the ground," he said.

The heartbroken farmer decided he couldn't stand back and watch his future deteriorate any longer.

"You want something to pass down to your kids," he said.

"People don't understand you can't just pack up and leave and go 'somewhere it rains'.

"I've just come back from Townsville and there's still no grass between here and there. It's meant to rain all the time in Townsville."

Desperate to get help for his community and fellow farmers Jack started an online petition to get Woolworths and Coles to come on board to help raise funds.

The petition now has over 13,000 signatures.

"It's the worst drought on record out here - unless we get more help our families and local businesses will collapse," he said.

"My family has forked out so much to feed our cattle, but our finances have dried up with this cruel drought.

"I just don't know how much more we can take. Our livestock are dying and everyone is desperate."

Jack wants to make it clear he doesn't want Coles and Woolworths to actually donate funds.

"We thought about where a lot of people go each week," he said.

"I just want them to ask a simple question at the checkout, 'would you like to donate $1 to support Aussie farmers'?

"But Coles and Woolworths have both palmed me off.

"But we will keep putting on the pressure." 

EARLIER: SINCE our story yesterday on Boulia farmer Jack Neilson's #dollarfordrought campaign, more than 9,000 people have signed his petition.

Mr Neilson said the increase in petition signatures shows how willing people are to help out Australia's farming families.

"We as a farming/grazing country produce the best and cleanest food in the world and I think that people are realising how desperately urgent and dire the situation is getting and that if something isn't done, we will lose these people and the food they produce. 

"It is very encouraging to see this support flowing in."

LAST WEEK: A QUEENSLAND man's campaign to help drought affected farmers is gaining momentum.

Jack Neilson, a farmer from Boulia, is petitioning to get major retailers to ask customers if they would like to add $1 to their transaction to support Aussie farmers affected by the drought.

In just four days, more than 3000 people have signed Mr Nelison's 'Dollar For Drought' campaign petition.

Mr Neison said in a post on his Facebook page, it is a simple, easy way all Australians can help drought affected farmers. 

There is ONE SIMPLE WAY that all Australians can help our drought affected farmers and it is so easy…How?Get major...

Posted by Jack Neilson on Sunday, September 27, 2015

 

"What's a dollar? On its own a dollar is not much, but from a nation it is plenty.  

"This simple question would equate to millions of dollars of support for drought stricken farmers every single day (that's how many transactions are made at the supermarkets ) and we as a nation could effectively support the hand that feeds us."  

Mr Neilson said on his petition page, as a farmer in regional Queensland, he is struggling to make ends meet.  

"It's the worst drought on record out here. Unless we get more help our families and local businesses will collapse.  

"My family's forked out so much to feed our cattle, but our finances have dried up with this cruel drought, I just don't know how much more we can take.

"Our livestock are dying and everyone is desperate."

Mr Neilson is calling for Coles and Woolworths to "back us farmers".

"The big supermarkets have done media stories about their support for local produce and Aussie growers but we really need more help.

"Us farmers need cash. To put food on the table, and help us hold off the banks from repossessing our properties."

In another Facebook post on his page, Mr Neilson said he contacted Woolworths about the 'Dollar For Drought' idea but their reply was a "classic palm off".

"Below is a reply Woolworths has sent me in regards to ‪#‎dollarfordrought‬," he wrote.

"Classic palm off however they don't seem to get that they are not donating the money the people who shop there are."

Below is a reply Woolworths has sent me in regards to #dollarfordrought. Classic Palm off however they don't seem to get...

Posted by Jack Neilson on Tuesday, September 29, 2015

 

Mr Neilson's petition is lobbying Coles and Woolworths to initiate a 'Dollar For Drought' appeal at their cash registers.

He's asking people to sign the petition to get the retailers to ask customers to donate a gold coin to help Aussie farmers in need.

"Would you say yes?

"If you would give a ‪dollar‬ for drought at the checkout...get behind this idea we are trying to kickstart with adding the hashtag ‪#‎dollarfordrought‬."

>> You can sign Mr Neilson's 'Dollar For Drought' campaign petition here



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