Former INXS band member backs farmers facing drought

Published: October 2019  

With bushfire season starting early and crops failing at record speed, former INXS band member and farmer speaks out about the Australian drought.
Former INXS band member Andrew Farriss, now a cattle farmer north-west of Tamworth, talked to The Weekly Times as he released a new country song:

Andrew Farriss says he can empathize with the farming community as he experiences drought firsthand on his property in Tamworth. Source: supplied. 

I’VE been 28 years on this farm and most of that time it’s been absolutely brilliant in our district. 

But this drought has been going on more than two years and I want to say I’m living it and I understand what other farmers are going through. I empathise with the farming community and those supporting them.

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What keeps me here is the beauty of nature. It’s not in a hurry, and that gets in your bones and blood. 

Former NSW Farmers’ president Mal Peters wrote in The Land:

Mal Peters says the federal government isn’t doing enough to support farmers. Source: Fairfax. 

I have been on a number of farms over the past few weeks and good farmers who always prepare themselves for drought are now at the end of their tether. They are not sure which way to go with failed winter crops, stock rapidly losing condition.

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The NSW government has stepped up with a number of assistance measures. But the federal government is missing in action, relying instead on Farm Management Deposits, the Farm Household Allowance and Regional Investment Corporation loans – all of which very few farmers can access. 

The Morrison government demonstrated it can act in critical times, as it did during the Queensland floods, but now we have a disaster beyond any records in some parts of northern NSW and southern Queensland. 

If action is not forthcoming, some rural communities and farms may not recover. 

Grazier Robert McBride spoke to The Sydney Morning Herald about saving fish in the river south of the Menindee Lakes:

Grazier Robert McBride speaks out about the Menindee fish kills. Source: Supplied by Katharine McBride’s YouTube Channel. 
We have been asking for months for the fish to be saved because they are dying slowly in puddles of filthy, deoxygenated boggy holes.

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These fish have to be protected for future generations but the government should have been working to save them over the past six months during the cooler weather.

**EDITOR’S NOTE: in mid-September, fisheries staff from the NSW Department of Primary Industries planned to transfer Murray cod and golden perch from about 20 pools of water close to drying out to other parts of the river.

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