Crowds were kept entertained at the Dubbo Showground on Monday when Australian singer Shannon Noll sang a range of hits as part of Channel Nine’s drought relief appeal.
As of 2.30pm, the Channel Nine telethon had raised a staggering $6.7 million, with the target set to break $7 million by 5pm.
The former Australian Idol contestant sang ‘What About Me’ earlier that morning for fans.
It has been a troubling few weeks for Shannon when he was involved in an on-stage incident at this year’s Duck Creek Races. Originally from Condobolin, which is also being ravaged by drought, Shannon knows just how dire things are becoming for farmers.
“It’s really dry out there (at Condobolin) … and it’s right across the board at the moment which is really tough,” he said.
“The only thing that can fix it is rain, and a bit more rain and then maybe a bit more rain after that. It would be good.”
Shannon said the great part about the Farm Aid Telethon was the awareness it is building on the drought for people in the city.
“I’m really thankful for the Today Show to come out here,” he said.
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“Even all the people coming out who are part of the (Channel Nine) production team can actually see what’s going on with their own eyes which is very important I think.”
Shannon said while you can see footage on television, it is very different once you get out on the ground and see the drought first-hand.
“Driving out here you realise how dire the situation really is,” he said.
Shannon said it was great the government was providing support for farmers and that national media were shining a light on the drought.
“It’s really gaining some momentum...” he said.
“Because that’s the most important thing, building awareness so people can understand the situation and then hopefully do whatever they can to help.”
Dubbo and the wider central west community took the opportunity to come out for the day to meet the celebrity’s and participate in a range of family-fun activities.
Shannon said it was great to see people turn out in droves for the event.
“It’s great for the community as a whole to see this thing happening in town, because it just shows that people do care and people are aware (of the drought) and want to do something to help,” he said.
“In saying that too, it lifts the spirits hopefully of the locals as well and keeps their chin up… and let’s them know there are people out there who are thinking of them and trying to do whatever they can.”
Shannon has released a song called ‘Lean On Me’, and 100 per cent of the proceeds will go to rural charity Drought Angels.
The song will be available to purchase on iTunes on Friday, but as of Monday it can be pre-ordered.
Shannon has dedicated the song to all of the volunteers and farmers to let them know people are thinking about them.