Laundromat seeing 'knock on effects' of drought
STRUGGLING families cannot afford to wash their clothes as the drought continues to have drastic knock-on effects in the community.
Rotary Stanthorpe is offering free laundromat vouchers after it came to light many people did not have money or water to do their washing.
Stanthorpe's only laundromat has been operating overtime to ensure residents have 24-hour access to machines.
"We were getting people coming in and only doing half the washing and putting the other half back in the car because they didn't have enough money to do it all,” laundromat co-owner Tamara Reedy said.
"We were giving them washes for free because they just couldn't afford it.”
After hearing about the problem, Rotary printed laundry vouchers which it has been distributing through schools and organisations.
Each voucher entitles the holder to five laundromat loads at the Stanthorpe Laundromat or the Country Style Caravan Park at Glen Aplin.
Stanthorpe Rotary Club president Fran Hodgson said schools had raised concerns about students whose families did not have enough water.
"The support staff told us there were families that were not able to do their washing regularly and we decided we could do something to help,” Mrs Hodgson said.
"We talked to Chris Reedy at the laundromat because we knew he was already helping people.”
More vouchers would be distributed when school resumed after the holidays and Mrs Hodgson said others would be given out through St Vincent de Paul and the Granite Belt Neighbourhood Centre.
"Anyone who needs to wash the bushfire smoke and dust out of bedlinens and curtains, or anyone out of town who has been holding off washing their winter sheets and blankets - phone/email/drop in and pick up a voucher,” Rotary announced on its Facebook page.
Mrs Reedy said this time of year was usually busy with tourists visiting the region but visitors had dropped back significantly.
In their place was an influx of residents, many of whom did not have enough money because of the lack of work caused by the drought.
"There has been no work because there has been no farming and people are having to decide how to spend their money,” Mrs Reedy said.
"They are prioritising their expenditure to put food on the table. The drought has created a lot of a suffering.”