Drought: NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro meets farmers, makes pledge

Dry: Deputy Premier John Barilaro tours a Yass farm on Monday. Photo contributed.
Dry: Deputy Premier John Barilaro tours a Yass farm on Monday. Photo contributed.

Ninety-nine per cent of the state is still drought-affected, despite recent rain on the coast and some inland regions, prompting Deputy Premier John Barilaro to issue a message of support for farmers and businesses.

Dubbo is part of 22 per cent of the state that remains in intense drought, a NSW Department of Primary Industries' indicator shows.

Mr Barilaro this week spoke with farmers, families and business owners in Yass, Boorowa, Cowra and Orange about the drought and offered assurances to them they had not been forgotten.

"The recent downpours were a welcome relief, but people need to understand that many parts of the state did not receive a single drop and that 99 per cent of the state, particularly areas like the Far West, Central West and Southern NSW, remain in drought," Mr Barilaro said.

"The drought is not over, far from it, and I want farmers, families and businesses to know that, while there has quite rightly been much attention given to firefighting and recovery efforts, our focus and commitment to drought support and response has not wavered.

"I am looking forward to the day I can say the drought has broken but that day is not today.

"The recent rain has given a lot of communities hope for the future but for those who have missed out it is a tough pill to swallow.

"We will continue to stand by them until this drought breaks."

"It was pretty disturbing what's going on there," he said.

"Even though there's been a fair bit of rain, it hasn't gone to areas where it's much-needed, and there's a lot of people out there who still don't have drinking water and still don't have any government assistance, and it's very sad what's going on out there."

Narromine district farmer Susie Rae said the rain was a start but had been patchy and more was needed.

"It's bad when people say it's drought-breaking rain, because it gives the city people the perception that it's all over," she said.

"Just because [people are] seeing greenery it doesn't mean the drought's ended.

"There won't be money floating around until a crop comes off, and the towns won't even really see that money, because there's a lot of debt from years of no income."