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Farmers continue to struggle through nation’s worst drought

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All of New South Wales is declared drought affected, with 57 per cent of Queensland also facing the same crippling struggle.

National Farmers Federation President Fiona Simson tells Steve Price they’re working with the government to improve access to the Farm Household Allowance.

An expert panel is reviewing the weekly payment.

The application process has been criticised, with the hefty amount of paperwork required being one of the reasons why farmers aren’t applying.

Ms Simson says it needs to be more accessible and is calling for it to be streamlined.

“We’re hopeful that we’re close to a solution shortly.”

She also says it’s “too difficult to list” the worst affected areas.

“Definitely there are areas that have been in drought for a long time and they’re easy to list, but I think they haven’t been much in the news because they’ve just been in drought for so long.

“It’s very widespread.”

Ms Simson says despite the drought, there are some pockets that will turn a crop.

She tells Steve one key factor they’re working on is water supply.

“As we get hotter, of course, water is going to become increasingly important and making sure people have running water in their houses, fresh water to drink.”

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