Bob Hope from Hope’s Body Repairs has come on board with Amanda Nothdurft from the Community Disaster Relief Van, and will travel to Longreach later this week to deliver much needed supplies to struggling families.
Bob Hope from Hope’s Body Repairs has come on board with Amanda Nothdurft from the Community Disaster Relief Van, and will travel to Longreach later this week to deliver much needed supplies to struggling families.

Digging deep for drought-hit community

HOPE is headed for Longreach by the boxful in the coming weeks, as Warwick residents continue to dig deep for the drought-hit community.

Since the first story about the Community Disaster Relief Van team's Outback Drought Relief Fund, the momentum has escalated with donations in the form of food, money, hay and transportation coming from far and wide.

CDRV board member Amanda Nothdurft estimates more than 300 boxes of groceries alone will be driven out to those who need it most.

Among the business owners coming on board is Bob Hope, from Hope's Body Repairs, who has spent the past two weeks tirelessly collecting donations and drumming up support.

Mr Hope is headed out to Longreach on Thursday taking out a load of boxes and hay to families in desperate need.

"It doesn't matter who I have asked they've put their hand in their pocket," he said. "I know the country - I've been out there before"

According to Mr Hope it would cost about $1 per kilometre for a truck to deliver goods to Longreach.

"We are hoping to get a fuel company to cover the cost of fuel to go out," he said. "We've had very generous people donate trucks and dollies - but it will cost $2000 for a round trip out there."

To make a donation or to help the cause, phone Amanda on 0431 110 404 or Marita on 0439 003 924.

Donations can be picked up by the CDRV team or left at Hope's Body Repairs.

The CDRV team will again be in the Rose City Shoppingworld on April 7 to collect donations.

HELPING HAND: Warwick resident Rodney Geddes has overcome a battle with cancer to get behind the Outback Relief Fund cause, hitting the pavement to drum up support.
HELPING HAND: Warwick resident Rodney Geddes has overcome a battle with cancer to get behind the Outback Relief Fund cause, hitting the pavement to drum up support. Jayden Brown

Doing whatever he can to help

COMING from the land and seeing the drought take its toll on his family's dairy farm in the 1960s was all the inspiration Rodney Geddes needed to get behind the people of Longreach.

The 65-year-old Warwick resident is among a strong group of volunteers who have pounded the pavement in recent weeks to drum up support in the community for the Community Disaster Relief Van's Outback Relief Fund.

"I've been on the land and been through a few droughts," he said.

"I saw the battle my old man had in the 60s - we used to feed cattle by hand and pump water to different locations."

Despite the hardships then, Mr Geddes said nothing could compare to the struggles facing the people of Longreach.

"They've been as bare as a board out that way - it's a worry," he said.

"I used to travel that country - there are some good people out there. "You wonder when it will end."

Mr Geddes knows what it's like to do it tough, in October 2013 he was diagnosed with cancer that had spread from his neck to his brain. Despite suffering from depression and the long terms effects of his treatment, the hard-working local said he was doing as much as he could to help out. "I'm hoping to get out there one day and see what I can do," he said. "The CDRV have done a brilliant job - they work so hard and people have been so generous."

Boots on the ground in the west

THERE'S no better way to report on a situation than to send a reporter to the scene and get a firsthand account.

It's with this in mind that reporter Jayden Brown will be tagging along with the Community Disaster Relief Van convoy, leaving the Rose City on April 9 for the 2200km round journey to Longreach.

During the four-day tour, Jayden will meet local people and the volunteers who have worked tirelessly to shine a light on the plight of the people in Outback Queensland.

Assisting with the sorting of delivery and boxes, Jayden will travel with the convoy to various properties in the Longreach area - sharing the stories of how your donations will make a difference to those doing it tough.

Readers will get a first hand account of life in Longreach, complete with photos and video from the drought hit community.


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