Farmers in Australia get greater powers to kill kangaroos amid drought

David Gray  Reuters            
                    A dead tree in a drought-affected paddock west of the town of Tamworth in New South Wales

David Gray Reuters A dead tree in a drought-affected paddock west of the town of Tamworth in New South Wales

Queensland is also partially in drought, while Victoria and South Australia have parts experiencing dry conditions. But the drought conditions in New South Wales state this year have been the driest and most widespread since 1965. Sixty-one percent of New South Wales is in either drought or intense drought, and almost 39 percent is considered drought-affected, Department of Primary Industries maps show. It was officially listed as "100% in drought" on Wednesday.

The combineddrought indicator - which takes in rainfall, soil water, plant growth and long term climate data - shows no part of NSW is recovering despite some recent rain.

The entire state is now in drought, according to the latest seasonal update, Department of Primary Industries Minister Niall Blair confirmed in a news release Wednesday that Sydney radio station 873AM posted to Twitter.

The authorities have provided about £330m in emergency relief funding as...

The drought has hit farmers particularly hard, with crop, water, and fodder shortages putting their livelihoods at risk.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull warned that the country had become a "land of drought".

Farmers in NSW were spending up to A$10,000 per truckload of hay to feed their animals, he said. "You turn up here because you've got to turn up".

Cattle farmer David Graham said he was resigned to waiting for rain, telling the BBC: "In our community you just support each other through the tough times".

Farmers are already eligible for annual relief payments of up to A$16,000 each.

"Many farmers are taking livestock off their paddocks, only to then see kangaroos move in and take whatever is left - this is the last thing any farmer needs at the moment", Blair said. Earlier this week, Mr Turnbull announced additional payments of up to A$12,000.

No, the so-called millennium drought of 1997-2005 is often cited as the most devastating - it ravaged nearly 50 per cent of Australia's agricultural land.

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