Rain settles the dust in drought-ravaged parts of northern NSW

Nine's Today show visits Tamworth for drought - and it rains


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 It's raining outside Tamworth for the first time in a long time. Photo by Peter Hardin, Northern Daily Leader.

It's raining outside Tamworth for the first time in a long time. Photo by Peter Hardin, Northern Daily Leader.

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Modest rain totals from slopes and plains up to Tablelands

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Modest rain totals were recorded overnight and today in many parts of northern NSW, lumbering under the weight of the drought.

Tamworth had some of its best rain in ages of over 10mm, with nearby Manilla recording similar amounts. It gives farmers some hope of summer cropping if there are further rain events.

In the drought ravaged central-west where the Prime Minister announced the Federal Government’s latest drought relief package on the weekend, Wellington picked up nearly 10mm, bringing a three day total to 14mm, giving a little hope that more rain may still come to meet its average rain for August of 47mm.

Dubbo received a little over 7mm. The  town was under a dust storm on Friday. 

Orange had its best rain in over 6 months with 26mm recorded at the Orange Ag site, while Taralga had its best rain in five months with 16mm.

Weatherzone forcaster Craig McIntosh said the rain increased as the weather system moved closer to the ranges. “We would call it modest rain,” he said. Parkes had 8mm, its best rain in three months.

Meanwhile, rain fell on the set of Nine’s Today Show live broadcast in Loomberah, near Tamworth.

Hosts Georgie Gardner and Karl Stefanovic met with school children and farmers to talk about the drought.

“It’s about letting them know they’re not forgotten, I imagine the nature of their work is very isolating and they feel they’re struggling but nobody is really hearing them,” Gardner said.

Joined by Tamworth Regional Council mayor Col Murray and musician Adam Brand, Stefanovic and Gardner saw first hand the impact the drought is having on local families.

“The rain is far from enough, I was just speaking to a farmer who said they need at least 30ml’s for it to really make a difference,” Gardner said.

“To be able to relay to them that we are listening, we are shining a light on it, I think we’re educating urban Australia that we need farmers.

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“It’s really helping to galvanise the country as a whole and it’s certainly got the politicians sitting up and taking notice.”

Member for New England Barnaby Joyce stopped by and local school children told the hosts about how the drought has impacted them.

Nundle farmer Jared Doyle told the hosts there are a number of farmers who won’t see an income until January 2020.

“If we’re going to talk about drought in our news bulletins it’s essential we come and see it for ourselves,” Gardner said.

This story first appeared in the Northern Daily Leader

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