Hay Manji! Great job
The Lower South West united in an effort to help those devastated by bushfires in the Perth Hills last week.
Six Bridgetown fire brigade volunteers went to fight on the fire front, clear roads, and help residents as part of a DFES Lower South West task force, while Manjimup farmers donated a truck load of hay bales, and committed hundreds more to be sent for displaced animals.
Retiree Bill Bickerton organised the “Hay Manji” project after he was asked by a friend if he could deliver supplies to a pony club in Perth and discovered hundreds of horses and other livestock had been taken in from burnt farms and needed food desperately.
Mr Bickerton was put in touch with the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development and was told it had assigned the task of delivering animal feed to Harvey Hay which sent a convoy of trucks to the Eastern States affected by bushfires last year.
Mr Bickerton said he wanted to see if anyone else would get involved, so he turned to social media.
“I put the word out on the Manjimup Notice Board group on Facebook and I’ve had a good response,” he said.
“A lot of people have committed to provide hay, some in very large quantities.
“Now effectively anything that we do here, I then co-ordinate that through Harvey Hay and they’ve got distribution warehouses and sheds in the various fire areas and they’re also prepared to send trucks down to pick stuff up if need be.
Mr Bickerton was contacted by truck driver Brodie Ricetti on Wednesday last week, who drove his truck full of hay up to Prospect Feeds in Byford where it is now ready to be distributed.
“He’s a good bloke Brodie, he’s just doing all this voluntarily, and his brother Kyle has also offered to take a load up,” he said.
“They were going to load two trucks up on Monday but it was too wet so we called it off until they could get the trucks in.”
Mr Bickerton said there have been about 500 more hay bales committed to the project already.
“At the moment we’ve got about six major donors — between them they’ve probably put together enough for about five or six road train loads,” he said.
“We’re also looking for people to donate smaller quantities they can bring in on a smaller farm truck or in the back of a ute to Brodie’s yard in the industrial area which he’s offered for us to stockpile stuff at until there’s a load.
“Then he has a loading machine there and he can just take it out.”
The project also received donations of chicken and dog food from Walpole Hardware, 1000L of fuel from City & Regional Fuels for trucks, as well as a bank account opened by the Manjimup Community Resource Centre for cash donations.
Mr Bickerton said the project will run until farmers have feed back in their paddocks and is still looking for more donations of silage, hay bales, animal food of any sort, trucks, and money for fuel.
Mr Bickerton stressed any cash donations to the project must only be for fuel and vehicle running costs.
If you would like to donate or get involved with the project, contact Bill Bickerton at email@example.com or phone him on 0488 321 470.
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