I rise today to thank my constituents in Paterson who continue to reach out to those who have been so horrendously impacted by the drought.

I'm incredibly proud of the deluge of support for our farmers that has poured out of the lower Hunter.

In Maitland, Mercury journalist Belinda-Jane Davis spearheaded what snowballed into a campaign across the national Fairfax platform in support of Rural Aid and
Buy a Bale.

Just yesterday, in Medowie, a six-week campaign, led by Councillor Chris Doohan and Ben Niland, culminated in an event at the Bull n Bush hotel.

This community of just over 9,000 people raised a whopping $70,000, and a third of them were at the pub yesterday to celebrate that.

Good on you, Medowie; you've really punched well above your weight.

They reckon it was the biggest event Medowie has ever seen, and they've raised enough money to send seven B-doubles of hay to the bush, where it's needed.

I'd also like to mention the many schools and businesses whose combined efforts are truly phenomenal.

At Kurri Kurri Public School on Friday, the kids dressed like a farmer and raised $1,400—thank you.

Every dollar counts, and every dollar sent help, but most importantly, every dollar says to our farmers, 'You are not alone. Good on you.'