Shooters Fishers and Farmers' Roy Butler and Phil Donato visit Barwon electorate

Drought is like the slowest burning bushfire, says Barwon MP Roy Butler.
Drought is like the slowest burning bushfire, says Barwon MP Roy Butler.

While aid assistance is flowing for those affected by the bushfires, a Shooters Fishers and Farmers colleague of Phil Donato's says it's imperative parliament at all levels turns its attention to helping those battling the crippling drought.

Barwon MP Roy Butler believes the government has lost sight of the bigger picture.

"I guess the way I see it is, drought is like the slowest burning bushfire. It still destroys properties, it destroys livelihoods and it takes people's lives," the SFF MP said.

Mr Butler has been touring Barwon, along with Mr Donato, the member for Orange, to witness firsthand the effects of the drought on the electorate.

OUT AND ABOUT: Barwon MP Roy Butler with Bogan Shire mayor Ray Donald and Shooters Fishers and Farmers Member for Orange Phil Donato. Photo: CONTRIBUTED

OUT AND ABOUT: Barwon MP Roy Butler with Bogan Shire mayor Ray Donald and Shooters Fishers and Farmers Member for Orange Phil Donato. Photo: CONTRIBUTED

"Even though [Phil's] got experience out west, I wanted him to come and see with his own eyes and hear with his own ears what's going on, so that when he's prosecuting this case for greater assistance in parliament, he can talk about his own experience," Mr Butler said.

"Because when we get back to parliament I really want to refocus government on drought, because bushfire has really dominated the news cycle."

Communities ... where you've got an overly agricultural dependent economy, they're really suffering.

Barwon MP Roy Butler

As the drought persists, Mr Butler said communities who are agriculturally driven are suffering with less new money flowing into their economies.

"Nyngan, Cobar, Narrabri, Broken Hill, communities like that have diversified economies where they still have some income from mining, so there's still some new money circulating the community," he said.

"But communities like Bourke where you've got an overly agricultural dependent economy, they're really suffering.

"So we're trying to get government to realise they've got to be doing a lot more, and if their answer is going to be more loans, or long term planning infrastructure-type work then that's not the answer and it's going to miss the mark."

Mr Butler said the tour aimed to help educate members of the SFF party understand the policy initiatives being driven and how they would help bring immediate assistance for communities.

"We had the cabinet out in Bourke in December, no one can deny, the whole NSW cabinet have heard for themselves and seen for themselves what's going on," Mr Butler said.

"No one can deny that what's going on is essentially a natural disaster and it needs that level of response from state and federal governments and what we've seen from the bushfires."

This story Let's not forget about the drought, says MPs first appeared on Central Western Daily.