Bush Capital | Dry conditions bite hard

I have been talking about the crunch factor a lot lately and I'm sure you've noticed the crunch too.

The dust clouds are building, the livestock are parched and the creeks are low.

It is dry out there.

Yet for an inland city, our taps still continue to flow with fresh clean water.

We all know of the principle Charles Scrivener held when mapping the nation's capital.

He looked at the life-giving qualities originating from the mountains to our west.

It was water.

In mapping out a site for a city as grand as ours, the supply of crystal-clear drinking water was the deciding factor.

Today we take this legacy for granted. We merely turn on the tap and the water flows.

Over the last two weeks our region has seen a bit of rain. It is a welcome sight to many, but a mere drop in reality.

For many in our rural region, turning on a tap isn't really a possibility. If it doesn't rain, the water tanks empty.

Purchasing and transporting drinking water can be the only option.

Last week the ACT Government extended financial support for local farmers who are really doing it tough.

The dry conditions have been long and, for some, are becoming crippling.

The second round of the ACT Farmer's Support Package is designed to lend a helping hand.

Eligible local farmers can now access a subsidy of up to $40,000 to offset the transport costs for stockfeed.

Financial help is also at hand to truck-in water, fertiliser and farm chemicals.

In the search of better pastures interstate, transport costs for stock movement are also available.

This comprehensive package is also looking to build resilience.

Grants will support farmers to increase their knowledge and their skills and to improve farm infrastructure to better minimise the devastating impacts of extended dry conditions.

In sitting down with our local farmers, positive steps have already been taken in building rural resilience and responding to the challenges of a changing climate.

In supporting our primary producers, there's an air of confidence that we can collectively get through this difficult time and prepare for the future.

The bush capital is well placed to take up the challenge. By thinking globally and acting locally our collective way forward is clearly outlined in the ACT's Climate Change Strategy.

This plan, and the support package, help lay the foundations from which we can make a real difference.

The Canberra of tomorrow will benefit from our actions today.

  • For more information on the tangible support available visit environment.act.gov.au

Brett McNamara is with ACT Parks and Conservation Service. Photo supplied by ACT Government.