Australia's most populous state entirely in drought - International

An aerial view of the cattle feeding operation on the property 'Toorawandi' owned by Coonabrabran farmer Ambrose Doolan

New South Wales is now entirely in drought.

"This is tough. There isn't a person in the state that isn't hoping to see some rain for our farmers and regional communities", NSW Primary Industries Minister Niall Blair said.

Smatterings of rain fell on Monday in parts of eastern Australia devastated by drought, but not enough to make a difference. The Australian Bureau of Meteorology said that nationally, it was the driest July in Australia since 2002.

The NSW Department of Primary Industries' Combined Drought Indicator has revealed 38.7 per cent of NSW is now drought-affected, 38.2 per cent is in a drought, and 23 per cent of the state is suffering through an intense drought.

Farmers are among the hardest hit by the drought, which is the driest and most widespread in the state since 1965.

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced $12,000 grants for farming families.

The problem isn't confined to NSW. Parts of Victoria and South Australia are also experiencing dry conditions.

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The money is meant to assist farmers who are struggling with failing crops, water shortages and the cost of feeding animals.

Farmers in NSW were spending up to A$10,000 per truckload of hay to feed their animals, he said. "You turn up here because you've got to turn up".

"Many farmers are taking livestock off their paddocks, only to then see kangaroos move in and take whatever is left", Blair said.

Farmers are already eligible for annual relief payments of up to A$16,000 each.

"Anybody on the land that will make a phone call to the Department of Environment can get permission to shoot nearly whatever they want to shoot and it's unaudited and unchecked and that's our concern - animal welfare", Borda told Australian Broadcasting Corp.

However, some have criticised the measure as "too little, too late" and too onerous to claim.

Much of Australia's southeast is struggling with drought.

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