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Drought hit towns face counsellor shortage

On-going drought conditions in Australia’s eastern states is putting a strain on counselling services.

Charity Rural Aid is this month looking to raise $150,000, that’ll see one new rural counsellor placed in a regional area.

Counsellor Zoe Cox told Macquarie’s Rural Reporter Eddie Summerfield, farmers are doing it incredibly tough.

“Just last week I helped a farmer pick up 25 sheep carcasses to throw them in the ute, because they’d all died from pregnancy toxemia,” Ms Cox said.

“That situation of picking up those sheep carcasses with the farmer, that lent itself to the most beautiful counselling session, that I don’t believe could have unfolded in a white roomed clinic.”

More than 95 percent of New South Wales remains in drought, with the weather bureau’s Spring outlook painting a bleak picture for areas needing rain.

“Some areas haven’t seen rain since February,” Ms Cox said.

To help drought impacted areas, Rural Aid is challenging people to get on their bike, as part of Beach to Bush campaign.

“We’re hoping to raise $150,000 this September which is what is required to put a counsellor on the ground in a drought effected area,” Ms Cox said.

Further details about the campaign can be found at

Listen to the full interviews with Zoe Cox above or subscribe to the National Rural News podcast:

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