AS the worst drought in history continues to take its toll, Rural Aid is calling on people in the Central West and Orana to nominate their town for a makeover.
The initiative will see 10 country towns each receive a minimum of $100,000 during the next five years in drought support.
The support that is needed can be anything from small infrastructure programs, help for the local sporting club or a re-paint of the CWA hall.
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Rural Aid chief executive officer Charles Alder said small country towns play a critical role in supporting the social and economic fabric of their local communities and they have symbiotic relationship with the farms located around them.
"We want to bring in people who can makeover the town and commit to the town for the next five years," he said.
"It'll give that town some life and hope that they can get over the drought."
Mr Alder's plan is to bring in Rural Aid's Farm Army of volunteers, usually between 50-100 people, to town to undertake a range of infrastructure projects which town leaders identify as important to the town and community.
This Farm Army will spend one week in the town each year for the next five years.
The makeover package will also include help from corporate companies with a range of services such as: tourism, web design, advertising, banking and financial planning.
It'll give that town some life and hope that they can get over the drought.Rural Aid chief executive officer Charles Alder
"They will come in for the week and offer help but also provide ongoing help," Mr Alder said.
Mr Alder feared the long-running drought could severely impact small towns in the long term.
"If the butcher's not getting as much work, then the baker closes down and then the coffee shop could close down," he said.
"You only need, in some cases, one shop to shut down for it to impact the whole town."
Mr Alder encouraged people to "think big" when submitting their nomination.
"We want people to think as large as they can possibly think. What's their vision? What's their passion," he said.
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Mr Alder said Rural Aid would work with town leaders and the money will be spent developing plans, through facilitated workshops, to support the long-term sustainability of the town and local community.
Nominations close on September 30, 2019.
For more information or to nominate your town visit Rural Aid online.
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