A regional day of prayer on Sunday, September 15 has been organised as a show of support for drought-affected communities across southern Queensland.
Toowoomba Region Mayor Paul Antonio said a particularly dry autumn and winter had compounded another dry summer, which was testing the resolve of primary producers and communities across a large part of Queensland and much of the country.
“The day of prayer is a concerted effort to show our region’s concern and support for all residents, their families and business people who are battling the drought,” Mayor Antonio said.
“The day is designed for all faiths to incorporate a prayer in their regular services to show they care for people whose livelihoods are being determined largely by the elements.
“We can show our genuine concern and offer hope for a break in the season. A prayer for fellow residents’ welfare is a fitting act of kindness.
“This region is fortunate to have the services of experienced and trusted agencies like Lifeline Darling Downs and South West, among many others, that continue to provide assistance or a caring ear when needed.
“It is a difficult time for many people across regional Queensland. Unfortunately, the short term outlook does not indicate the likelihood of good falls of rain.
“Apart from financial strains there is a toll on people’s mental health, which we must openly address.
“Producers and rural people are by nature a most resourceful group, but the ongoing drought causes many flow-on effects in our communities that are far beyond their control. We can support each other through thick and thin times.
“We need to help all residents understand where our food and fibre is produced and how hard our primary producers and supporting businesses work to sustain us all year round.
“This is our turn to recognise their hard work and passion for living and working on the land.
“Our simple prayer is for widespread rain to break the drought and restore people’s spirits and livelihoods.”
Mayor Antonio said the day was supported by the Darling Downs and South West Queensland Council of Mayors and the wider Toowoomba church community.