Australia's most populous state entirely in drought

  • Australia's most populous state entirely in drought

Australia's most populous state entirely in drought

The state government said on Wednesday that 100 per cent of New South Wales' land area of more than 800,000 square kilometres was now in drought.

Farmers are having to decide whether to continue the expensive and laborious task of hand-feeding cattle and sheep or sell their livestock.

According to Minister for Primary Industries Niall Blair, the latest drought update confirms what many farmers across the state have seen, with only 0-10mm of rain recorded over the past month in the Western, North West and Central areas of NSW.

The sight of wide expanses of dry earth greets farmers every day around the state.

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

What is drought and when is it declared? The state governments would also be asked to submit reports on drought condition, so that relevant relief measures can be implemented.

"If you know an Australian farmer, please check with them about which charity they think you should donate to before you do", she said.

The Sunday Telegraph this week reported the federal government will give hardest-hit farmers $12,000 in two lum-sum payments from September in addition to a modest welfare payment of $295 welfare payment.

"We are the land of droughts and flooding rains".

CANBERRA: Animal welfare concerns have been raised after farmers in Australia's most populous state were allowed to shoot kangaroos in order to keep them from starving to death. "We recognise that. It's a very volatile and often capricious climate and Australian farmers are resilient, they plan for drought, they are good managers but it can become really overwhelming", said Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Separately, the state government announced a $500 million emergency relief package last Monday, raising the state's total drought support to more than A$1 billion.

Southern Australia has experienced near-record levels of dry weather; rainfall has been 57mm below average for the time of year.

James (left) and Harrison O'Brien feed grain to hungry calves at the family's drought-ravaged farm in Five Ways in the middle of NSW.