Former Dubbo deputy mayor and Indigenous community leader Warren Mundine believes now is the time for the government to take action in supporting regional communities in drought.
Mr Mundine was on the 'protecting the social fabric of regional communities' Bush Summit panel on July 18 in Dubbo.
Mr Mundine said we need to make regional communities thrive.
He said droughts had always been here but this was the worst one he had seen.
"It's sad in one sense that we've got the Bush Summit because of the drought but it's great that we do because we need action now, we need our politicians doing things," he said.
"Australia can't really move forward without rural and regional communities growing and attracting people to them.
"This is the biggest problem we're having, otherwise we're going to lose everyone to metropolitan areas . . . and it's going to have economic problems for us."
It was pleasing to see the prime minister and opposition leader come to the Bush Summit in Dubbo, Mr Mundine said.
"But now we need to have some action out of this from the state and federal governments. I know there's some constitutional issues involved but they've got to sit down and work it through," he said.
Mr Mundine said we were never going to stop drought.
"That's just a natural thing that comes and goes over the years, but you can help communities and farmers get through these hard times and that's what we should be focusing on," he said.
One of the saddest issues occurring now was the water crisis.
"We don't want this thing happening with (people saying) 'we cant do this, we can't do that', let's throw it all on the table and actually then go through it piece by piece with the smartest people in the country to be able to resolve some of these issues," he said.
Mr Mundine played a significant role in the Dubbo community between 1992 and 2004.
"I love Dubbo, I lived here for a long time and I always see Dubbo as my home and it's a beautiful place, but it is tough coming back and you also see the surrounding areas and it's just desolated by drought," he said.