DROUGHT CONTINUES TO BITE DESPITE WELCOMED WIDESPREAD RAIN

Despite some significant rainfall in parts of the State last week, NSW continues to experience prolonged and widespread drought conditions, with 98.6 per cent of NSW still in one of three drought categories on the NSW Combined Drought Indicator (CDI).

Minister for Agriculture and Western NSW Adam Marshall said that while the rainfall was welcome, farmers across the State were still doing it incredibly tough.

“This rain will help ease conditions in some areas and is timely for winter crop sowing, but it is far from enough to represent a break from the drought,” Mr Marshall said.

“While the west, north-west and south of the State received between 25 to 100 millimetres of rain at the end of last week, we’re still seeing 98.6 per cent of the State in drought, which is only a minor decrease from 99.5 per cent figure as at the end of March.

“I’m heartened by that improvement but the reality is we still require significant follow-up rainfalls to ensure any improvements are sustained and our rural communities start to feel reprieve from one of the worst droughts in living memory.”

The latest CDI shows the Northern Tablelands, North West and Western Local Land Service regions remain the worst hit by ongoing dry conditions.

“Drought conditions are unrelenting and that’s why as Minister my number one priority right now is delivering a new drought funding package to provide our farming and rural communities with the support they need,” Mr Marshall said.

“Over the coming weeks I’ll be getting out and about to chat to rural communities about what else the NSW Government can do to continue to provide much needed relief.”

To date the NSW Government’s Emergency Drought Relief Package has provided more than $1.5 billion in support and assistance measures to farmers and rural and regional communities.

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