Living in the southern hemisphere has its positives, high living standards, quality healthcare and of course incredible weather, but for regional communities, the negatives can far out way the positives. For a prolonged period, regional NSW has struggled through a treacherous drought with vital rivers and waterways running dry. Rural communities, properties and entire towns have run out of any usable water and the impact on the livelihood for the farmers and their towns has been devastating.
Mendooran, a small town approximately 100 kms north of Dubbo experienced the inevitable. On level 6 water restrictions, the Mendooran locals have been restricted to three-minute showers, a maximum of 100 mm of water in baths, and are only permitted to do two loads of washing per week. The town’s main waterway, the Castlereagh river, is bone-dry and as such all water needs to be trucked in at a big expense for the local community.
Located 3 hours south east of the driest town in NSW, our Bathurst Correctional Centre Project team made the impossible, possible. Following an immense fundraising effort across project, subcontractors and consulting teams, they raised over $13,000 in under 3 weeks. What felt like record time, one truck load of water become two as the donations kept pouring in.
Proving invaluable for the community, donations resulted in 33,000 litres of water, with an additional 2,000 litres donated by Aldi. The water was delivered by our team to Mendooran Central School and distributed by the town police officer Constable Carlton Kopke. Once distributed, the water aided 138 households in Mendooran and nearby towns of Neilrex and Merrygoen.
Hansen Yuncken Chairman David Beslich, NSW & ACT Operations Manager John Wilson, Bathurst Correctional Centre Project Manager James Medlock and Contracts Administrator Mikky Baroni and Subcontractor Ben Hagney spent the day with the Mendooran locals, listening to their stories of resilience through such difficult times, playing basketball with the students and embarking on a tour through the town.
Despite the hardship being endured, the locals did not let their circumstances dim their spirits, welcoming our team with open arms and showering us with gratitude. The day was an incredibly humbling experience and a true testament to the perseverance and solidarity of our country towns in the face of adversity.