MP Donates Pay Rise To 'Catastrophe Of Gigantic Proportions'
He challenged other regional MPs to do the same.
As drought takes hold of Australia, one MP is calling all politicians to donate their 2.5 percent government pay rise to help drought-affected farmers.
Shooters, Fishers and Farmers MP Philip Donato donated $2,466 to registered drought relief charity Aussie Helpers on Monday, challenging every state and federal regional MP to follow suit.
“Enough is enough,” he said.
As a crippling drought sets in across 99 percent of NSW, and much of the country’s eastern states, Donato said the government was failing to support farmers.
“The government and the elected National Party members that comprise it have failed our farmers and failed to deliver what our farmers now need so desperately," he said.
Many farmers are pleading for more government assistance as they struggle with loan repayments and skyrocketing freight costs to source and transport feed.
Aussie Helpers is among the registered charities that have stepped in, working tirelessly to provide groceries and emotional support as well as fodder for those who are struggling to just keep their livestock alive.
"Phil is the only politician in NSW that has actually had anything to do with Aussie Helpers," founder Brian Egan said on Monday. "We have had a lot of politicians down here but there is certainly not much interest."
Donations from the public are rolling in daily, and were enough for one NSW farmer to stop short of shooting his 1200 merino sheep and lambs.
"What we have done is to try and get the truth about the drought into the city, just to show that there is a catastrophe of gigantic proportions happening in New South Wales and not many people know much about it, including the New South Wales government," he said.
But their pockets are too running dry.
READ MORE: How You Can Help Drought-Stricken Farmers
NSW politicians received a 2.5 percent pay rise as of July 1, plus an increase in their travel and office entitlements.
The member for Orange challenged all state and federal regional MPs, including Deputy Premier John Barilaro, to do the same and “put their money where there mouth is."
A spokesman for Deputy Premier and Nationals leader John Barilaro would not provide comment when contacted by ten daily.
Egan said he hoped more politicians would act.
"It would just be a great gesture to say, look, I'm sticking my hand up, I am going to do something for more community.