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Australia drought extends despite 'widespread, significant rain'

AFP  |  Sydney 

A devastating that has left Australian farmers struggling to stay afloat is set to persist despite widespread and significant last month, authorities have said.

Graziers in eastern have been battling a long-period of severe conditions that have turned green pastures brown and forced some to sell down or shoot their stock.

There was some welcome relief last month when "widespread (and)... significant rainfall" was recorded in parts of New South Wales, the said in its seasonal update late Friday.

"While the has been welcomed and has provided a more positive outlook for field conditions in some regions, the is far from over," NSW Department of Primary Industries' said in a statement.

"We need more significant widespread rainfall in the coming weeks and months for agricultural recovery to commence and farmland to return to a productive state."

Clark warned that if dry conditions continued instead, "we would see an increased intensification of the drought".

Some 99.8 per cent of the state remains in drought, officials added. In neighbouring Queensland, the government said last week that 57.4 per cent of the state remains drought-affected.

The update came as -- appointed to the newly created role of national co-ordinator -- said his focus was to improve fundraising efforts for farmers.

He told Sydney's there was a "lack of co-ordination and coherence to all that's going on".

"That means there are some gaps, that means there are some overlaps, that means there are some inefficiencies," he said ahead of an planned meeting with some of the major charities raising drought funds.

"I think if we can look at this as a team sport, we'll have a better effect." While droughts are not uncommon in Australia, the length and severity of the dry conditions have placed enormous strain on farmers in the eastern states.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, September 09 2018. 07:50 IST
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