Friday, 10 January 2020 10:12

Oz getting hotter and drier — report

Written by  Staff Reporters
Fiona Simson, NFF president Fiona Simson, NFF president

Last year was officially Australia’s hottest and driest year on record, according to the country’s Bureau of Meteorology.

The weather bureau, in its climate statement for 2019, says annual rainfall was “very much below average” across the country last year, while the national mean temperature was 1.52 degrees Celsius above average.

The report comes as Australian farmers continue to manage a record-breaking drought, and battle bushfires which have devastated hundreds of farms.

National Farmers' Federation president Fiona Simson said there's been no escaping the challenges of the past 12 months.

"2019 was a horror year for so much of the industry, with an escalation in the long-running drought bookended by devastating floods and fires," said Simson.

"The bushfires of the past few weeks have laid bare just how hot and dry 2019 was."

Simson said the human impact of the past year has been significant.

"Whether it's the drought or the recent bushfires, dry conditions are pushing many of our farming communities to the brink.

"It's a situation that grows graver each day, and shows no signs of abating. We need an unprecedented response from government to help famers manage these unprecedented conditions.

"These farmers and their communities are tough, but they need all our support to weather this and rebuild from it.”

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