NSW 100 per cent in drought: minister

10 August, 2018, 14:26 | Author: Myra Gill
  • Australia NSW drought now affects entire state

Australia's most populous state, New South Wales, was declared entirely in drought on Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2018, and struggling farmers were given new authority to shoot kangaroos that compete with livestock for sparse pasture during the most intense dry spell in more than 50 years.

NSW produces about a quarter of Australia's agricultural output.

Further deterioration in soil water availability prompted the drought declaration Wednesday, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.

Southern Australia has just experienced its second-driest autumn on record, according to the Bureau of Meteorology, with rainfall 57mm (2.24in) below average.

The Department of Primary Industries (DPI) said that 61 percent of NSW is either in drought or in intense drought, while 39 percent is drought affected.

The problem isn't confined to NSW.

"Well at least it proves that it can rain again that's one thing, but yeah, there' hasn't been enough", said dairy farmer Max Wake at Condobolin in New South Wales. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull toured some drought-stricken communities on Sunday, announcing $12,000 grants for each affected farming family.

The money is meant to assist farmers who are struggling with failing crops, water shortages and the cost of feeding animals.


Farmers in NSW were spending up to A$10,000 per truckload of hay to feed their animals, he said.

"It's like you are in jail every day", Queensland farmer Ashley Gamble told the Nine Network.

"They are shooting their stock because they don't want them to suffer".

"This is tough", Blair said.

Frank McRae, chair of the Australian Fodder Industry Association, said the drought has left dire feeding conditions for the animals.

Farmers are already eligible for annual relief payments of up to A$16,000 each.

No, the so-called millennium drought of 1997-2005 is often cited as the most devastating - it ravaged nearly 50 per cent of Australia's agricultural land.

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