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Local issues dominate drought discussions

Hebel Drought meeting participants left to right: Property owner and Agriculture Advisor Joe Barry, graziers Michael and Kate Treweeke, Drought Resilience Plan Officer Belinda Colless, Hebel School Principal Cathy Nixon and grazier Jennifer Cross. Photo contributed

Local issues have come to the fore during a series of meetings focussed on the Far Northwest Joint Organization of Councils (FNWJO) recently released model for a ‘Regional Drought Resilience Planning Program’.

Meetings have been held over the past two weeks at Bourke, Louth, Brewarrina, Walgett, Collarenebri, Lightning Ridge, Hebel, Come By Chance, Coonamble, Marra Hall, Warren, Nyngan, Euabalong, and Cobar.

Part of the program includes holding group discussions across the Outback – not just with farmers but also with the wider community concerning resilience through challenging times.

“I feel it’s a bit like an oxymoron thinking about resilience out in western New South Wales,” Regional Drought Resilience Plan Officer, Belinda Colless said. “We’re probably some of the most resilient people around. We can make things work even when the odds are stacked against us.”

“But resilience is about making sure that we have strong local economies, we have a strong health education system, and we have housing available to recruit and retain staff. It’s about making sure that we’re upskilling our community or have strategies to attract and retain skilled staff. […]

Read more in the printed edition of The Western Herald.

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