John Dale of the Inverloch Men’s Shed encouraged people to drop a coin, or a note, into the ‘Bucks for bales’ bucket, with help from Brian Williams (left). mm113618

CONTINUING a tradition, a Bunnings sausage sizzle in Wonthaggi last week raised vital funds, this time for farmers.
And aside from the generous donations by people entering the warehouse to get last minute Fathers’ Day gifts, the barbecue encouraged conversations around the struggles of farmers.
The wet winter’s day didn’t deter people, many lining up in the rain to grab a bite to eat.
The barbecue was organised by the Inverloch Men’s Shed, with volunteers manning the marquee and donations bucket.
After learning the money was going to Gippsland farmers, one woman dropped in a $20 note.
Volunteer Julian Sellers said 100 per cent of the money raised would go towards the Gippsland Drought Relief fund.
“All of the money goes to the farmers,” he said on Friday.
“A lot of it’s going down to East Gippsland, where they’re suffering from what they call ‘green drought’, where there’s enough rain to make the ground look green – but it’s not enough to keep growing.”
He said most farmers just want to get off their property for a week so they can take a step back and take a breath.
“You can’t sell your good stock, because then it’s gone – that’s your breeding lines.
“We don’t appreciate what the drought is down here, we’ve had so much rain.
“Part of Men’s Shed is looking after men’s health, and it’s the most important thing, whether it’s through depression or anxiety, or something else.
“This wouldn’t have happened without the support of Bunnings, they supplied the barbecue and the staff have been absolutely fantastic.”
Monash MP Russell Broadbent said the fundraiser is sending a message to farmers across Australia.
“People care about them in Wonthaggi, in Inverloch and across Victoria,” he said, after having a sausage.
“That’s why the Federal Government response has been as it is – with nearly $1.5 billion going to drought relief.”