Australia's most populous state entirely in drought

Pat Wise
August 11, 2018

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

Turnbull addressed those concerns on Monday, announcing relief measures for farmers including extra money for mental health support services.

The brown surrounds at the O'Brien farm echoes the experience of many other NSW farmers. So wild animals were not deprived of water the cattle, the government of New South Wales has taken such a step.

Farmers in New South Wales have been given authority to shoot kangaroos which compete with livestock for pasture.

The requirement to tag dead kangaroos to keep a tally of the number shot across the state had been dispensed with.

"If we don't manage this situation, we will start to see tens of thousands of kangaroos starving and suffering, ultimately leading to a major animal welfare crisis", he added.

But Ray Borda, president of the Kangaroo Industries Association of Australia, which represents commercial hunters who hunt kangaroos for meat and leather, raised animal welfare concerns about the regulation changes.

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

"We see this as probably the worst possible outcome for the kangaroo, but I've got to emphasize we do understand the plight that farmers are in", Borda said.

In some regions, water restrictions have been tightened to the point that residents can only do a maximum of two loads of washing a week and take three-minute showers.

Though Australia has long suffered from spells of drought, other parts of the world are now experiencing extreme weather which experts say is evidence of the Earth's changing climate.

The state government last month quietly amended its drought map in response to fierce criticism from farmers without a green blade of grass, whose properties were categorised as being merely in "drought onset".

Across Southern Australia, 2018 saw the second-driest autumn on record, according to the Bureau of Meteorology, with rainfall 57mm (2.24in) below average, with less than 10mm of rain was recorded in parts of NSW in July, and drier than normal conditions are forecast in coming months, as reported by the BBC.

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