It was a raw sight in Trangie on Sunday when drought awareness campaigner Edwina Robertson broke down in tears in front of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
Mr Turnbull visited the town to make a further drought assistance announcement.
When he arrived he saw Ms Robertson and called her over. It was then she broke down in tears recounting the people she had met through her One Bucket Tour around NSW.
The breaking point for Ms Robertson was when she witnessed a family receive the news of a suicide of a close relative.
When she recounted the story to Mr Turnbull, Ms Robertson couldn’t help but break down in tears.
“I was with a family on Thursday, and they’ve been struggling with the drought, they have two farms on the market and looking at another dry year,” she said through tears.
“And on Friday morning they found out their brother-in-law had committed suicide.”
This is week five of Ms Robertson’s drought tour.
“The desperation isn’t going, it’s not on a weekly basis, it's on a daily basis,” she said.
“No one can make it rain, but acknowledgement and sufficient funding can help people get through until it does.”
The Prime Minister announced additional support for farming families to help them through the drought.
Families on the existing Farm Household Allowance scheme will be provided with two lump sum supplementary payments on September 1 and March 1, 2019.
Couples in a household will receive up to an additional $12,000 while single households will receive up to $7,200.
The Government is also raising the FHA threshold cap from $2.6 million to $5 million to make it easier for farmers to access the FHA payment.
Further funding will also be provided for mental health support. An extra $5 million will be provided for the Rural Financial Counselling Service, while the Government will also invest $11.4 million in mental health support networks including additional funding for Primary Health Networks in drought affected areas and the removal of the requirement that those accessing counselling need to have their first appointment in person.
Ms Robertson said the the federal government’s Sunday morning assistance announcement was “underwhelming.”
“The package is short sighted, he needs to acknowledge the long term effects of this.”
Despite this Ms Robertson is glad she made the trip from Carinda to meet with the Prime Minister.
“The desperation isn’t going, it’s not on a weekly basis, it's on a daily basis."Edwina Robertson.
“I am glad I came today, I’m not a cocky, I’m not a journalist, I’m a politician. I'm an Australian that cares about real Australians, and even though I bawled my eyes out, it was real and everyone saw that,” she said.
- HOW YOU CAN HELP: Support the Buy a Bale Western Campaign
Ms Robertson has called out to people to donate to charities around Australia.
“We all need to be consistent in our message of how bad the drought is,” she said.
“Our money is going to come from charitable help, we need Aussies to get together. [It] is not going to come from the government.”
- If you, or someone you know needs assistance call Lifeline on 13 11 14