No money, no phone, dodgy internet and dying cattle — this is the reality of farm life in drought affected Queensland, according to someone who knows.
Lucy Bain is a 16-year-old girl growing up on a remote 38,000 hectare property near Quilpie in central south western Queensland.
Recently a visitor to her high school asked her to donate money to Cambodian farmers to help ease the effects of an ongoing drought.
While she was sympathetic to their plight, something about the request didn’t sit right.
“Cambodia is a poor country I know that. I’m not trying to say we shouldn’t help them but we as a country need to fix our own backyard first,” she wrote in a Facebook post.
“Australians do lose their life, they lose families, they lose animals, they lose crops, they lose income, they lose farms and they have no way back. But apparently it’s not that bad.”
Read Luci’s full post here.
She describes the grim reality for many families in a place where just a few years ago up to five farmers a week were taking their own lives.
“The day starts and the truck will be here in an hour. You help your wife cook breakfast for the 4 kids, one that is only 8 months old. Your youngest child has never seen rain, it’s a drought. The truck gets here and you greet the driver. He looks at you cattle and says “these cattle are too poor to truck, they’ll all die before we get onto the main road, you’ll make no money”. You then shake his hand and he leaves. You walk into the house and get your gun and 205 bullets. You go out and shoot every single cow in the yard. You then proceed to shoot your 4 working cattle dogs. You look around at the house, the farm, your kids in the window. Then, you draw your last breath before turning the gun on yourself and firing the last bullet.”
Clearly the post has hit a raw nerve because it has now been shared more than 30,000 times.
Luci Bain. Source: Facebook
The visitor, from the Lutheran World Service, had "no clue", according to Luci.
"What bothered her was the visiting woman's suggestion that Australian farmers could just "buy more seeds" if their crops failed," she wrote.
"Her words told us that if Australian farmers don't produce a crop it's not the end of the world because they just head into town and get more seeds to try again.
"It really ticked me off to hear how many times she had been to Cambodia to see their drought and told all of us at school that it's so much worse than Australia's when she had never been to Australia's own outback to see how bad it really is."
"Australia...the more you put in now the less fighting we have to do in the future." Source: Facebook
Luci says she wants to live in a country where farmers are supported and that while things in her area are improving at present drought is a constant threat.
"Drought is a part of this vast country I like to call home. And one day the drought will be over but one day it will be back.
Watch: Another Australian teenager, Chloe Scott, started her own an online petition calling for a review the milk pricing system in a fight to protect dairy farmers.