NSW Premier Visits Drought-Stricken Farms, Appoints 'Drought Coordinator'

Premier Gladys Berejiklian announces the appointment of the first drought coordinator, after NSW farms have been hit by the worst drought conditions in more than two decades.

What you need to know
  • NSW Premier Gladys Berejikian has toured drought-stricken farms near Dubbo
  • $3 million worth of government assistance is being applied every week as conditions worsen
  • 'I feel like this mightn't end until 2025,' farmer Scott Tourle told Ten Eyewitness News

NSW Premier Gladys Berejikian has toured drought-stricken farms near Dubbo, as farmers struggle through the driest conditions in more than two decades.

The premier used the visit to announce the state's very first drought coordinator, whose job it will be to listen to farmers and inform Government what kind of help is needed.

Already $3 million worth of government assistance is being applied every week as conditions worsen.

The first three months of this year were the driest in more than 30 years, as almost a third of the state is either in drought or approaching drought.

"I feel like this mightn't end until 2025," farmer Scott Tourle told Ten Eyewitness News.

"We've only had 50ml this year, and 350 ml last year -- the average is 600ml, so it's a drastic reduction in rainfall."

State gets new 'Drought Coordinator'

The Government on Monday announced former National Rural Woman of the Year and respected agriculture leader, Pip Job, as the State’s Drought Coordinator.

“In this new role, Pip will be our eyes and ears on the ground, making sure we are providing the right support and doing so at the right time," the Premier said.

“She will provide affected communities with critical information, as well as identifying any emerging risks and coordinating the Government’s drought response.”

Berejiklian said the state aims to be "ahead of the game" in its response to drought, but some say the crisis already here.

The Government has been criticized for only announcing a coordinator position, and some have called on the Premier to do more than just listen.

"The Premier went to Dubbo with news of drought relief, and despite the State being awash with cash, she's delivered nothing," said Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party MLC Robert Brown.