EPIC trust ready to help EP farmers

Port Lincoln Men's Shed also donated money for the cause: shedders Colin Webb and Bill Broughton stand with farmer Peter Rehn and EPIC Charitable Trust organiser Steve Whillas.
Port Lincoln Men's Shed also donated money for the cause: shedders Colin Webb and Bill Broughton stand with farmer Peter Rehn and EPIC Charitable Trust organiser Steve Whillas.

More than 50 Eyre Peninsula farmers have signed up to receive assistance for drought relief from the EPIC Charitable Trust which has raised $133,000 as of Friday, October 5.

EPIC Charitable Trust organiser Steve Whillas said 52 farmers had sign up to receive assistance and that the amount raised would cover the costs of about 5,000 bales of straw.

Mr Whillas said his target was $150,000 which should help about 60 farmers.

“It depends upon the amount of growers registering their interest (for assistance)...it has slowed down, but I’m still picking up the odd grower,” he said.

Funds from the trust will go towards any farmer on the Eyre Peninsula requiring help, and not just those from Cowell, Cleve, Mangalo, Arno Bay and Darke Peak.

Mr Whillas said this decision was made in recognition of Streaky Bay farmers who had been “doing it tough” for a couple of years, and that there could be pockets of farmers who were struggling that he did not know about.

He said leftover money would be given to the trust’s partner Mentally Fit EP to help set up mental health programs in drought affected communities.

“I anticipate February and March to be tough months, until the season breaks...there will be trigger points,” he said.

Mr Whillas wished to extend his thanks to those who have donated and to recognise the $100,000 donated by the National Farmers Federation and the $10,000 by the Port Lincoln Community Bank.

The EPIC Charitable Trust is still accepting requests for assistance from Eyre Peninsula farmers until the end of October; to apply for assistance call Steve Whillas on 0458 852 268.

If you would like to donate, donate to EPIC Charitable Trust, BSB: 015 420, account number: 4686 16441