Australia's most populous state entirely in drought

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

Though Australia has long suffered from spells of drought, other parts of the world are now experiencing extreme weather which experts say is evidence of the Earth's changing climate.

ONE HUNDRED per cent of NSW is now officially in drought.

Australia's most populous state, New South Wales (NSW), is now entirely in drought, officials have confirmed, according to a BBC News report on Wednesday.

What caused the drought: Drought is not uncommon in Australia, but this year the winter in eastern and southern Australia was drier than expected and did not provide much needed water for farm lands, leaving farmers battling crop failure, water shortages and very little food for their animals.

Only less than 10 millimetres of rain was recorded in the western, northwest and central areas of the state over the past month. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull toured some drought-stricken communities on Sunday, announcing $12,000 grants for each affected farming family.

More than half of neighbouring Queensland is also in drought, while parts of Victoria and South Australia are also experiencing dry conditions.

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"The forecast suggests an increase of drier than normal conditions for the next three months across the majority of NSW but I want every farmer and community to know that we will stand with them through this challenging time and continue to make sure we have the right support available".

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

"Many farmers are taking livestock off their paddocks, only to then see kangaroos move in a take whatever is left", Blair said.

"If we don't manage this situation, we will start to see tens of thousands of kangaroos starving and suffering, ultimately leading to a major animal welfare crisis", he added.

"Anybody on the land that will make a phone call to the Department of Environment can get permission to shoot nearly whatever they want to shoot and it's unaudited and unchecked and that's our concern - animal welfare", Borda told Australian Broadcasting Corp.

The government would have been better off subsidising professional shooters to reduce kangaroo numbers more humanely, he said.

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