Visiting Trangie in NSW this morning, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced additional financial support worth $190 million to help drought-affected farmers, with an emergency "special" payment for producers who are under intense financial strain due to relentless drought conditions.
Australian farmers hit by a record drought will receive 12,000 Australian dollars (8,880 USA dollars) each as part of the latest relief package for the agricultural sector, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said on Sunday.
"If everybody took the view that they weren't going to do anything because their contribution doesn't make much difference, then nothing would happen", Turnbull said. His wife Margo says droughts have a very negative impact not only on her family, but the whole farming community around the nearby town of Tamworth in northwest New South Wales (NSW) state.
An estimated 2700 more farmers in SA could also be eligible for the farm assistance package but haven't applied. "But we have had to remove them all and bring them closer to the homestead so we can more easily feed them".
Farmers have meanwhile expressed concerns the media is too heavily focused on drought "disaster" stories, fearing it could damage the reputation of Australia's livestock industry.
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As drought hits hard in north-western NSW, kangaroos are swamping the township of Gunnedah in search of grass on front lawns and water from sprinklers.
Some parts of Queensland have been in drought for seven years. "When farmers do it well the whole nation benefits, when farmers do it tough, as they are now the whole nation suffers", he said during the press conference. The Australian Bureau of Meteorology says parts of Australia experienced the second-warmest summer (December-February) on record and have just been through one of the driest and warmest autumns (March-May) on record.
The National Farmers Federation president is welcoming extra Commonwealth funding for drought-stricken farmers - but concedes it's not yet clear whether it will be enough.
His comments come as Agriculture Minister David Littleproud was slammed for claiming a connection between man-made climate change and the drought was a "big call".
"A lot of farmers, we're using that a week", farmer Anto White from Belltrees in the Upper Hunter tells me.