New South Wales, Australia’s most populous
state, New South Wales (NSW), is now entirely in drought, officials
A dry winter has intensified what has been called the worst
drought in living memory in parts of eastern Australia.
NSW produces about a quarter of Australia’s agricultural output.
It was officially listed as “100% in drought”.
The state and federal governments have provided A$576m
(Pound 330m; $430m) in emergency relief funding.
Farmers have told harrowing stories of failing crops, severe
water shortages and being unable to feed livestock.
Some have spent up to A$10,000 per truckload of hay just to
feed their animals, according to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
Southern Australia has just experienced its second-driest
autumn on record, according to the Bureau of Meteorology, with rainfall
57mm (2.24in) below average.
Less than 10mm of rain was then recorded in parts of NSW in
July, and drier than normal conditions are forecast in coming months.
Officials said 23% of NSW was classified as being in “intense
drought”, with the remainder in drought or drought-affected. But, the
problem is not confined to NSW – more than half of neighbouring
Queensland is in drought. Parts of Victoria and South Australia are also
experiencing dry conditions, the BBC reported.
Source: Oman News Agency