The fresh smell of damp earth is no longer
Air thick with red dust sweeps across the plains
Creek beds and dams completely dried up
Deep crevices formed like lightning bolts in the earth
Sheep and cattle wander – struggling for survival
Farmers open gates to their withered crops
while we city-dwellers have our fill.
Children play in the shade of Coolabah trees
where temperatures are of little difference –
Families battle against all odds to save their land
Determination and courage reveal their Aussie spirit
Household overdraughts rise beyond all revenue
Farmers are fraught by the burden of debt
Requests for assistance, shatters their humble pride.
An unrestrained sun blazes mercilessly
Occasional clouds overhead constrain their moisture –
Flies stick and infest the cut-price saleyards
Stock owners livelihoods plundered and rorted
Gone are the days of cattlemen and their droving
Greener pastures no longer exist in this dry barren land
Australia, why do we ignore their anxious plight?
Suicides are frequent in this desperate land
Every four days a man takes his life
Outback families weep – completely torn by grief
Livelihoods shattered by troubled times
Land owned for generations – now in ruins
How dire must the life of the Aussie battler be?
A nightmare has replaced their great Aussie dream.
Open the heavens and send down the rain
Fill our dams and drench our dry thirsty land
Refresh our rural regions with life-filled rains
Bring hope and life to struggling families
Restore to this nation a sense of mateship
For God, if this drought continues into another day,
the true-blue Aussie will be lost forever.
© Chrissy Siggee 24thOctober 2006
Although written in 2006, I feel that this is relevant today.
On 12 Apr 2018 at 2:40pm this statment was released on the ABC: Seasonal conditions are worsening across 90 per cent of New South Wales, and some farmers are forking out up to $10,000 a week to maintain livestock.