Australian independent Santos is donating A$160,000 (US$109,000) to help farmers and rural communities in two states cope with the ongoing effects of severe drought.

The natural gas player is gifting A$80,000 to the Queensland Country Women’s Association to assist communities in the Maranoa region, where the Santos-led Gladstone Liquefied Natural Gas joint venture has developments.

It is also giving A$40,000 to each of the Narrabri Lions Club and the Narrabri Rotary Club in New South Wales.

The cash for the Narrabri Lions Club will go into its “Why Leave Town” gift cards scheme, that helps local farmers and small businesses, while the donation to Narrabri Rotary Club will go to its “Neighbours in Need” campaign to ease social isolation and improve mental health.

“We know farmers and rural communities are doing it tough with around 65% of Queensland and almost 100% of New South Wales in drought conditions that have been going on for more than two years,” Santos chief executive Kevin Gallagher said.

“Helping each other out is what good neighbours do,” Gallagher added. “To support the rural communities where we live and work, Santos has also launched a staff appeal and will match employee donations to charities helping out with the drought.”

Last year, Santos donated A$200,000 to assist drought relief efforts in the two Australian states.