CatholicCare Wilcannia-Forbes CEO, Anne-Marie Mioche, is appealing to government and other support agencies to remember those still impacted by drought - even as tragedy and emergency do take their toll in other parts of the country.
"The bushfires have been disastrous and as a nation we held our breath at the threat and tragedy but we must not forget about the long slow burn of devastation still being caused by the drought which has crippled much of eastern Australia," Ms Mioche said.
"December had the lowest rainfall on record for Australia and we still have people in our diocese - which covers 52 per cent of NSW - who missed out on rain this week, continuing to severely limit water resources, soil moisture and any hope of a crop or livelihood for 2020."
Rainfall to date has come in storms and the benefits have been very isolated in our shire.
Even as the Advocate prepared this edition for print, the shire was experiencing another dry, dusty and gusty day.
"The impacts on our rural and remote communities is dire, we need help," Ms Mioche pleaded.
A media release issued by CatholicCare Wilcannia Forbes says it is wonderful to see a positive and fast response by the Australian Government committing $76 million to mental health and trauma informed care for bushfire affected areas.
A total $6.3million has been committed over two years for mental health and counselling in drought affected areas.
Some regional areas within the diocese are now entering a fourth year of drought - and for Forbes this followed a year of flooding - and some of the associated social impacts are heartbreaking.
"We are trying our very best to help meet the increasing needs for our communities," Ms Mioche said.
"We support families, parents and children, relationships, financial counselling, domestic violence, homelessness, youth as well as our indigenous communities - all areas of need escalating as the tyranny of drought cripples our rural and remote communities."