A farmers' group has delivered a massive boost to the drought relief efforts of the Country Women's Association, which had previously been snubbed by the federal government.
Just weeks after the government rejected a CWA plea for additional drought funding, NSW Farmers has given the group $75,000 for support to farmers and dependent contractors to help with paying household bills in the lead-up to Christmas.
Without additional help, the CWA has said there is a real danger it will be unable to continue providing $3000 cash grants.
At a national level, the CWA has distributed about $30 million in drought assistance, $5 million of which came from the federal government.
But a plea for additional federal help was rejected, two months after the CWA wrote to Minister for Drought David Littleproud.
"This donation is money pledged by ordinary Australians to the NSW Farmers' natural disaster relief fund. We thank you for your support," NSW Farmers president James Jackson said.
"Since the beginning of 2018, NSW Farmers has distributed $208,000 donated to the NSW natural disaster relief fund, which has been given to farming communities across the state through the Salvation Army, and to Anglican Aid for a dedicated project in the New England area.
"As the rain refuses to fall and the bushfires rage farmers open more bills for fodder, water and essential business costs. They continue to pay wages and feed their families. But income is insignificant."
Mr Jackson said farming contractors such as shearers and fencers, along with agricultural product suppliers face the same bills: "They continue to arrive even though the work dries up."
CWA of NSW state president Stephanie Stanhope said the donation came at a critical time.
"It will be distributed to those in need immediately," Mrs Stanhope said.
Both Mr Jackson and Mrs Stanhope said that while the Australian Government's $33 million drought communities program rolled out through the Salvation Army and St Vincent de Paul was helping some drought-stricken farmers, there were areas that had so far been left out of this program so far.
"Sadly horticulturalists, graziers and dairy farmers in the Orange City, Singleton, Dungog and Mid-Coast Councils are excluded, even though they are experiencing significant drought," Mr Jackson said.
CWA of NSW chief executive officer Danica Leys told The Daily Advertiser the organisation was having fresh discussions with the federal government in a bid to secure more funding for its assistance program.