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Better times for Bourke!

The Landmark Team – Greg Seiler, Chelsea Edmonds and James Grant say there’s been a boost in community morale due to local rain and flows in the river. PHOTO TWH

Despite the COVID-19 crisis, the local community has been celebrating the tentative return of better seasons around Bourke and Brewarrina.

The impact of the rain and the flow in the Darling River has raised community morale and will translate into more jobs and a revived economy, according to local irrigators, business owners and community leaders.

Although it will take years for the impact of the drought to be overcome, there were already signs of renewal.

Bourke’s Deputy Mayor Lachlan Ford said the drought had hit the local community hard and it would take years for full recovery, but already the mood in town had changed.

“You’ve only got to look around and the feeling in town has improved since the rain,” he said.

“Obviously it doesn’t rain money, but it gives some hope for people that they might be able to get income from their land over the next few years.

“On a local basis, just to see local people out fishing, and enjoying the river again, its lovely and takes that depressing feeling away from around town.

“When people feel in a better frame of mind, they’re going to spend more money. I hope that will continue and give everyone a bit of confidence that Bourke will go ahead strongly.”

Councillor Ford was cautious about prospects however, saying Bourke, like most other western towns, would need continued government support to survive and thrive into the future.

“Unfortunately, the last three years have really hurt us and until we have four or five years of good solid economic times these western towns are going to continue to hurt.

“It’s all about job security at the end of the day. If you work a job on the land that requires water or in many of the jobs in town that require those industries to go well and they’re not all going well, one year is not going to fix the issues that we have had over the last three years.

Read more in the printed edition of the Western Herald.

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