Australia's most populous state entirely in drought

With the prospect of a dry weather pattern hitting the state in Spring the longer term outlook for rain in New South

The state government last month quietly amended its drought map in response to fierce criticism from farmers without a green blade of grass, whose properties were categorised as being merely in "drought onset".

Kiwi farmers are being urged to extend the hand of mateship to their drought-stricken Australian counterparts.

Much of Australia's southeast is struggling but the state government said 100pc of New South Wales' more than 800,000 square kilometres was in drought.

A drier-than-expected June and July has left many farmers with failing crops, a short supply of water and diminishing livestock feed.

The brown surrounds at the O'Brien farm echoes the experience of many other NSW farmers.

Farmers have also had to ration water for their families and their herds because the dams on their properties are dry or almost empty.

This photo taken on August 7, 2018 shows farmer Clive Barton walking through the paddocks in the drought-hit area of Duri in New South Wales.

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According to AP news agency, the authorities have lifted the number of kangaroos that farmers are allowed to shoot and reduced bureaucratic red tape facing land holders applying for permission to shoot.

The government should have subsidised professional hunters to reduce kangaroo numbers more humanely, he said.

"This is probably the worst possible outcome for the kangaroo, but we do understand the plight farmers are in", Mr Borda added.

In some regions, water restrictions have been tightened to the point that residents can only do a maximum of two loads of washing a week and take three-minute showers.

"Australia's rainfall varies greatly from one year to the next and from one decade to the next, and is strongly influenced by large scale phenomena such as El Niño and La Niña", Australia's Department of the Environment and Energy says on its website.

He says over that time the climate has certainly changed with winter and spring rainfall becoming less reliable. The state governments would also be asked to submit reports on drought condition, so that relevant relief measures can be implemented.

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