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Bourke locals reveal just how dire the drought emergency is

Alan Jones broadcasts from the bush
Article image for Bourke locals reveal just how dire the drought emergency is

The plight of people living in drought-ravaged communities is in the spotlight as Alan Jones and the state government swap the city for the bush.

Alan is broadcasting from Bourke and Dubbo this week, highlighting just how bad the situation is for our farmers.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian and her cabinet ministers have followed him, holding community cabinet meetings 770km north-west of Sydney.

Locals shared their stories with Alan as he broadcast from the Bourke Bowling Club, revealing just how dire the drought-emergency has become.

Alan Jones spoke with “the man who began it all”, Mark from Bourke.

His heartbreaking call last month prompted a flood of emotion from listeners and even the Prime Minister.

“It was a culmination of a lot of things,” explains Mark.

“It was frustration, it was anger and it was sadness for our community.

“You can tell when a community is dying and you can tell when a community is sick.”

Shooters, Fishers and Farmers MP Roy Butler is the local member in Bourke and has an enormous electorate he’s trying to look after.

He tells Alan his constituents are getting desperate.

“The money’s running low. The money for some has run out.

“What seems to be put on the table consistently, at a state and federal level, is loans. People don’t want more debt, they don’t want loans. They need cash.”

Click PLAY below to hear the full interview

Bourke cotton farmer Tony Thompson tells Alan he hasn’t been able to grow any cotton since 2017 due to the lack of water allocation.

“There’s no money to be made at the moment until we get rain and inflows.”

Local vet Dr Charlotte Cavanagh tells Alan Jones how the drought affects the whole community, not just the farmers.

“You sort of get used to that chronic pain of the drought I guess… but when it rains it’s just like everyone has a spring in their step.”

Bourke teacher Louise explains to Alan how the drought impacts the kids in the local primary school.


Alan Jones broadcasts from the bush