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2TM Regional News

Farmer Army gets to work building a future

Roy Stanger gets a new garden bed underway as part of the Farmer Army initiative.

The Farmer Army is hard at work around Gunnedah, helping to build a more sustainable future.

In December 2019, Gunnedah Shire Council announced it was forming a temporary workforce of people whose primary income had been impacted by the drought, offering flexible work arrangements to help keep money coming in.

The Council’s Drought Employment Program was opened to farmers, farmworkers, contractors, business owners, supplier and employees in related industries, and attracted interest from about 20 people.

Mayor Jamie Chaffey said the recent rain had meant many of those people had been kept busy on farm, but six people were already at work on a number of projects.

“This is proving to be a wonderful initiative,” he said.

“There are many people with valuable skills who are willing and able to work, but need a flexible option that will allow them to fulfil their on-farm obligations.

"We are keen to keep our hard-working residents and families here, and this provides an option to help the Shire and to supplement their incomes."

Cr Chaffey said Council planned to again recruit more people to the Farmer Army later this month.

“There is plenty of work out there, and we want to offer it to as many people as we can,” he said.

“It’s also a great resource for council to have temporary workers who can assist with some of the many important community projects that are underway.

“While the Shire is benefitting from the Farmer Army members’ experience, we are also offering the chance to learn new skills and build on existing skills so that people are even more employable.”


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