OVER the past few months, hotels across Newcastle and the Hunter have dug deep providing more than $150,000 in support to the local farmers doing it tough in the drought.
Hoteliers have hosted fundraisers, bought bales of hay, and made donations all in the name of community support.
But, when Upper Hunter Shire Council was forced to weigh up the viability of opening the Murrurundi & District Memorial Pool this season, which requires 840,000 litres of water and an expected cost of $50,000 to open plus around $5000 per month to keep it topped up and clean, the Royal Hotel & Kitchen at Murrurundi decided to step in.
“It was announced at a council meeting that due to the provision of water to households, businesses and other services taking priority this season, the local pool was in doubt for the summer,” Royal Hotel operator Jules Cross said.
“The suggestion was to instead provide a bus that would take people to Merriwa or Scone.
“However, that wasn't going to work.
“It can be far too difficult for parents to always be taking kids on a bus.
“After having a conversation with our parent company Husky Group, which has a fleet of trucks, they agreed to purchase one out in this area.
“We then went to council and suggested we provide a truck and driver to bring in the water and keep it topped up, because currently we are on level-six water restrictions.”
In addition to assisting with the provision of water for the local pool, The Royal has also recently donated $5000 of hay to Upper Hunter farmers.
“We have arranged for our donation of hay to be delivered to farmers located between Timor and here in Murrurundi,” Mr Cross said.
“We sourced the hay from a local business in Quirindi because while we know all farmers are in need and are deserving of assistance, we wanted to directly help our local community.
“That's what we are all about.”