Drought Reporting: Bringing it all together

Farm Table

Farm Table says:

One place to stay up to date with drought news.

This timeline brings together media articles and stories covering drought in Australia in a chronological manner.

We have also individual timelines separated into the following themes:

  1. Devastation and Heartbreak 
  2. Preparation and Action
  3. Generosity and Support
  4. Drought and the Broader Community
  5. Assistance Packages
  6. A Balancing Act: The Emotional Portrayal of Drought
  7. Drought Policy
  8. Climate Change
  9. Weather & Seasonal Updates

Read about our Balancing the Drought Narrative Series here.

  • Dairy forced out

    Last day for dairy at Deniliquin in southern NSW as drought forces farmers out (Cara Jeffery and Hannah Laxton-Koonce, NSW Country Hour, 7 April 2019) A family has been forced to shut down their dairy farm at Deniliquin in southern New South Wales. David and Kathleen Johnston and their daughter Kacee can
  • What it’s like

    What it’s like to live in the middle of Australia’s ‘dreadful’ drought (Amanda Collier, ABC Life, 4 April 2019) It’s been so long since the last proper rain in north-west NSW that 15-year-old Grace doesn’t really remember what it’s like.
  • Federal budget

    Federal Budget contains drought support, trade assistance and disaster relief for farmers (ABC Rural, 2 April 2019) Billions of dollars will be allocated to natural disaster response as part of the 2019-20 Budget, and farmers can expect a boost to drought support and foreign market access — but there will
  • Cyclone Veronica

    Cyclone Veronica flooding hits pastoralists in Pilbara as land stricken by drought is inundated (Michelle Stanley and Benjamin Gubana, ABC North West WA, 27 March 2019) Michael Thompson had become used to seeing his cattle struggle through drought. But seeing his animals drown in the aftermath of the strongest cyclone to hit
  • State of the drought

    State of the drought shows dams empty and NSW drowning in dust (Kate Doyle, ABC Weather, 12 March 2019) The hot dry summer has stripped the soils of moisture, water storages are down in every state and territory, and New South Wales is drowning in dust.
  • Qld summer crops

    Queensland crops wither in drought as dams dry out (Amy McCosker and Lydia Burton, Qld Country Hr, 12 March 2019) Queensland farmers are nervously watching the skies as summer crops fail and winter crops look increasingly less likely to be planted.
  • Q fever

    Australia’s drought could be increasing Q fever risk, but there are ways we can protect ourselves (The Conversation, 12 March 2019) With several hundred cases diagnosed each year, Australia has one of the highest rates of Q fever worldwide. Q fever is a bacterial infection which spreads from animals; mainly cattle, sheep
  • Missing wet season

    Wet season missing in action for Northern Territory, as Barkly cattle country bakes and waters run dry (Matt Brann, ABC Rural, 1 March 2019) “It’s starting to look catastrophic.” That is how one cattle industry source has described the famous Barkly Tablelands in the Northern Territory.
  • Drought proofing with saltbush

     The Sippel family, Narromine drought proof with Saltbush (Taylor Jurd, Western Magazine, 1 March 2019) An unlikely plant is helping a Narromine farming family to drought proof their property and it has also positively changed the outcome of their lamb products. The Sippel family from Narromine first began using the Old
  • Divert water from Qld

    Joyce drought ideas include diverting water from Qld: forum (Carolyn Millet, Namoi Valley Independent, February 28, 2019) Creating visionary water storage and transmission schemes, simplifying applications for help, setting up centralised fodder points and underwriting crops were some of the ideas floated at a drought forum on Wednesday.
  • Vegetable Price Rise

    Vegetable prices on the rise after floods, drought and heat cause supply cuts (Nikolai Beilharz and Cassandra Hough, ABC Rural, 26th February 2019) After floods in Queensland and continuing drought in other parts of the country, the supply of vegetables has been hit particularly hard, with staples like broccoli now selling for $8.90 a kilogram. Vegetables
  • $31 million Vic irrigation project

    ‘I can’t make it rain’: Morrison’s $31 million drought relief package for farmers (SBS, 24 February 2018) Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced $31 million for an irrigation project in Victoria’s Gippsland region as farmers grapple with drought.
  • Cattle price low

    Drought pushes cattle prices lower despite Queensland stock wipe out (Brad Thompson, Financial Review, 24 February 2019) Cattle prices are heading towards a four-year low and abattoirs working overtime despite the massive stock wipe out from floods in north-west Queensland.  
  • Dairy Farmers at the brink

    Drought and low milk prices push dairy farmers to the brink (Calla Wahlquist, The Guardian, 24 February 2019) The Australian dairy industry was already in crisis when drought struck key production regions in Victoria and New South Wales in 2018. Now farmers like Hickey say they are barely hanging on.
  • Channel Country

    Drought-hit Channel Country cattle producers welcome floodwater from weather system that devastated neighbours (Steven Schubert and Ben Deacon, ABC, 23 February 2019) The far south-west Queensland town of Birdsville, near the South Australia and Northern Territory borders, hasn’t had any rain at all, but is now in the middle of a one-in-40-year
  • Victorians feel ignored

    Farmers ‘insulted’ and feel ignored by Victorian Government’s latest drought assistance (Isabella Pittaway, ABC Rural, 22 February 2019) Farmers are disappointed and say Victoria’s Agriculture Minister is “naive” and “out of touch” as she announced additional drought relief for the state’s farmers, which excludes municipal rate relief.
  • Sheep and wool production

    Drought and dust storms taking a toll on sheep and wool production (Cara Jeffrey, NSW Country Hour, 15 February 2019) Merino sheep were bred to endure the extremes of the Australian climate, but the ongoing drought coupled with recent dust storms is taking a toll on wool quality and quantity.
  • Future Drought Fund not backed

    Opposition won’t back PM’s Future Drought Fund (Kath Sullivan, ABC Rural, 13 February 2019) The Opposition will not back legislation to establish the Coalition’s Future Drought Fund, labelling it a “Nationals slush fund”. Instead Labor says it would fund a drought response through a different funding model, if elected.
  • Looking at soil

    To predict droughts, don’t look at the skies. Look in the soil… from space (Siyuan Tian, Albet Van Dijk, The Conversation, January 29 2019) Scientists and governments alike have been looking for ways to measure drought in a way that relates more closely to its impacts. Any farmer or gardener can
  • Rain in Qld west

    From drought to flooding rains as farmers celebrate drenching in Queensland’s west (Kelly Butterworth and Zara Margolis, ABC Western Qld, 4 February 2019) Farmers are rejoicing in parts of western Queensland after going from dusty paddocks to flooding rains. While the drought is far from broken and plenty of graziers are yet
  • How drought affects freshwater fish

    How drought affects freshwater fish (Robert Lennox, Steven J Cooke, The Conversation, February 4 2019) Dry conditions and water removal are leaving little space for the animals that depend on these freshwater systems. Australia recently witnessed the consequences of this in several massive fish kills on the Darling River.
  • New Drought Map

    New Drought Map taps into disaster (PS news, February 4 2019) A map detailing Australia’s drought disaster  has been developed by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and its innovation arm, Data 61, at the request of the Joint Agency Drought Taskforce.
  • Shrinking towns

    Drought and a creeping emptiness in NSW (Perry Duffin, Western Magazine, February 2 2019) Smaller farming communities across NSW are shrinking in the face of economic and social headwinds but those who remain fear the current drought is accelerating the decline. Between 2006 and 2011 the Riverina-Murray population increased by
  • Parkes children raise funds

    Parkes children raise money for drought affected farmers (Western Magazine, February 1 2019) The Parkes children, together with G8 Education early learning centres across the country, held sausage sizzles, farmer dress-up days and more to raise the money, to raise a combined $15,764.70.
  • WA volunteers

    Volunteers ‘deliver hope’ to drought-affected farmers (Cally Dupe and Jenne Brammer, The West Australian, January 31 2019) Tired and weary but satisfied, dozens of volunteer hay runners have returned to WA after delivering 3500 tonnes of feed to drought-stricken parts of NSW. The four-day journey took the troops from Norseman
  • Viral plea

    Farmer’s plea for help through drought goes viral (Michael Nolan, Warwick Daily News, 30 January 2019) Dennis Rush took to Facebook late Tuesday evening and called for politicians, journalists and social media users to get behind primary producers as they faced one of the worse droughts in history.
  • Training Support

    Training support for drought affected farmers (Matt Collins, South Burnett Times, January 30 2019) TAFE Queensland’s Rural Support Training Program started today with Esk, Warwick and Kingaroy the first areas to benefit. Minister for Training and Skills Development Shannon Fentiman said the program provides much needed training support to farmers
  • Produce prices

    Drought impacting Queensland set to push up produce prices across Australia (Tom Livingstone, 9News, January 30 2019) Queensland butchers are struggling to keep meat prices down with ongoing dry conditions affecting stock on farms.
  • Drought relief ‘skulduggery’

    Exclusive: Australian drought relief – ‘There has been a bit of skulduggery going on’ (Kate Kachor, 9News, January 24 2019) More than $50 million is believed to have been raised for Australia’s farming communities crippled by drought in 2018, including more than $10 million through the Today show’s Farm Aid
  • LLS rate notice relief

    LLS rates notices bring drought relief for landholders in the region (Central Western Daily, January 22 2019) Landholders across NSW will soon receive their Local Land Services rates notices in the mail but this year, there will be a welcome number – a zero. The NSW Government’s Drought Relief Package, announced
  • RuralAid

    Rural Aid will deliver hay to drought affected NSW regions (Western Magazine, January 20 2019) Rural Aid has announced hay deliveries will be made to drought-affected NSW areas this year as blistering conditions are forecast to continue throughout 2019.
  • A million Menindee fish

    ‘Drought, climate change and mismanagement’: What experts think caused the death of a million Menindee fish (Nick Kilvert, ABC Science, January 16 2019) Experts say irrigators are taking too much water from the system, and the Murray-Darling Basin Authority has mismanaged water flows. But New South Wales Water Minister Niall
  • Another tough year ahead

    ‘This drought is highly likely to remain intense’: farmers prepare for tough year (Sarah Keoghan & Josh Dye, Sydney Morning Herald, January 10 2019) The NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) released a drought update on Thursday, indicating conditions are likely to remain at current levels or intensify over the
  • Keep funding going

    Drought-affected Queensland communities call for funding to keep them going (Cathy Van Extel, RN Breakfast, 4 January 2019) As 2019 gets started there are communities in Queensland facing their seventh year of drought.
  • Ripping Qld Farms

    The drought is ripping money out of Queensland farms (Lucy Stone, Brisbane Times, 20 December 2018) On average nationally, drought conditions will eat nearly $70,000 of broadacre farm cash income in 2018-2019, relative to the year before.
  • Cunnamulla drop

    As drought bites, Cunnamulla’s population has dropped 40 per cent, but not everyone is leaving (Nathan Morris, ABC, 14 December 2018) Cunnamulla has only received its annual average rainfall of 375 millimetres in 11 of the last 20 years. The last two droughts have come too close together to allow the country
  • Dry Drought PM

    Enthusiasm for the ‘Drought PM’ drying up (Mike Foley, Belligen Courier, 14 December 2018) The Prime Minister’s plans to make drought reform a selling point for his administration are falling flat. Scott Morrison’s drought achievements were criticised following Wednesday’s Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting.
  • Stock routes closed

    Legendary south-west Queensland stock routes closed due to drought (Aneeta Bhole, ABC, 12 December 2018) The Murweh Shire, which spans an area twice the size of Wales, has had to stop issuing travelling permits and will only allow grazing permits on a case-by-case basis.
  • Cyclone Owen

    Cyclonic wind and rain to bypass drought areas (Jo Glover, Thomas Morgan, Tracey Ferrier, Michael Wray, The Courier-Mail, December 13, 2018) It comes as Tropical Cyclone Owen has started tracking east toward the state. Some far northern residents have already been issued emergency alerts and moved to more solid properties, with the
  • WA assistance

    WA farmers and government at odds on drought assistance (Dakshayani Shankar, WA Today, 6 December 2018) Relief packages are available but the WA government is hesitant to declare the situation a drought.
  • Opinion piece

    Opinion: Five things you need to know about drought (Penelope Arthur, Northern DAily Leader, 5 December 2018) Farmers yearn for a better connection with the wider Australian public. Yes, the business of farming makes you more practical about death. But equally, it makes you more respectful of life.
  • Agri-tourism in drought

    Farmers open their properties to tourists to ease the financial strain caused by drought (Kerrin Thomas, ABC, 5 December 2018) Tourists are being encouraged to head to a drought-affected area for a holiday as some farmers diversify their operations and open their properties for farm stays.
  • Charity duplication

    Drought coordinator responds to concerns of charity duplication (Sally Cropps, QCF, 5 December 2018) Speaking after a two-way information exchange with primary producers at Warwick last month, General Day said while there had been some challenges with charities, the work was being done by great Australians trying to help their fellow citizens in a
  • Resource sector support

    Drought support: Resources sector backs Qld farmers (QCL, 4 December 2018) QUEENSLAND’s resources sector has backed drought affected farming communities, contributing more than $800,000 to several drought relief organisations.
  • Charity rugby league event

    League funds for drought aid climb to $18K (Pam McKay, Morning News, 30 November 2018) The total raised for Drought Angels from last weekend’s charity rugby league event will be “close to $18,000, if not a bit more”, according to Mitch Berry.
  • Wauchope dinner

    Drought dinner at Wauchope RSL raises thousands (Laura Polson, Wauchope Gazette, 30 November 2018) More than $10,000 was raised for drought affected farmers at Wauchope Show Society and Footprints in Ag Drought Breaker Dinner. The event was held at Wauchope RSL club on October 13.
  • Stock pain

    As the drought rolls on these are the stocks feeling the pain – and the plenty (Rachel Williamson, Stock Head, 30 November 2018) Pac Partners agriculture expert Paul Jensz refuses to call the East Coast weather a drought — it’s “dry weather” — and says the impact on many listed
  • WA forgotten

    WA’s ‘forgotten’ farmers face their toughest season amid fire, frost and record dry (Jon Daly, Tara de Landgrafft, ABC, 30 November 2018) Farmers on WA’s south coast are experiencing some of the driest times on record and fear they will run out of water if it doesn’t rain soon. For about
  • Survey Drought Resilience

    Survey invite to help increase resilience to drought (Tenterfield Star, 29 Novembr 2018) The survey is part of a research project focusing on the link between drought, wellbeing and the ways people adapt and cope with adversity. The project is being conducted by researchers from the Centre for Water, Climate and
  • IGA spirit

    Ashcrofts channel community’s spirit to help drought relief (Max Stainkamph, Central Western Daily, 29 November 2018) Ashcroft’s IGA has helped lead the way as stores all across the country have raised over $750,000 to support farmers impacted by drought through customer’s and their own donations.
  • ‘Quick and dirty’

    PM’s ‘quick and dirty’ drought policy fix (Mike Foley, Western Magazine, 29 November 2018) Farmers had high hopes for policy reform leading in to the Prime Minister’s Drought Summit in Canberra last month, but a leading drought policy expert says the agenda for upcoming drought stakeholder meetings is a watered-down version of old policy rhetoric.
  • WA moonscape

    ‘It’s a moonscape’: WA farmers battle freak drought in the South West (Jane Marwick & Nathan Hondros, WA Today, 29 November 2018) Farmers south of Jerramungup — about five hours drive from Perth — say their properties have been turned into dust bowls and moonscapes by a freak drought that
  • Drought Fund Bill

    Drought Fund bill introduced to parliament (SBS News, 28 November 2018) The federal government’s plan to set up a $5 billion fund to help farmers with future droughts has reached parliament. The Future Drought Fund was the key announcement from last month’s national drought summit in Canberra and is to
  • Vic infrastructure grant

    Grant available to tackle drought (Daron Jacks, The Weekly Times, 28 November 2018) THE Victorian Government has established the On-Farm Drought Infrastructure Support Grants program to assist farm businesses with drought management and preparedness. A grant of up to $5000 (excluding GST) is available to help eligible farm businesses implement
  • Boarding School Hardship

    Drought-affected farmers ‘choosing which child to remove from boarding schools’ due to hardship (Glen Moret, ABC, 21 November 2018) Parents of children in drought-affected areas are having to decide which of their kids to remove from boarding schools due to not being able to afford school fees, the head of
  • Climate change report

    Climate change report finds droughts conditions to continue (Taylor Jurd, Western Magazine, 15 November 2018) On Tuesday, November 13, the ‘Deluge and Drought: Australia’s Water Security in a Changing Climate’ report was released revealing the nation’s water security has been significantly influenced by climate change.


2018 - Australia - Farm Table
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