Drought towns to get road projects earlier

Michael McCormack is talking to councils about fast tracking road projects to help towns in drought

Road projects in drought-stricken small towns will be brought forward to keep local economies ticking over until it rains.

Infrastructure Minister and Nationals leader Michael McCormack is talking to local councils about how they can spend road funding as the drought continues.

"I'm bringing forward some of the programs, such as Roads to Recovery, to help these local councils," Mr McCormack told reporters on Tuesday.

"Make sure they've got a bit of work in the area, and even help some of the farmers who may be seeking some off-farm income.

"We can't make it rain, but we can certainly be in there helping these farmers, doing what we can."

Former Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce said keeping the economies of local towns ticking over would leave a positive legacy once the drought broke.

"We're bringing forward those capital works projects, we're making sure the money keeps spinning around the town," he told reporters.

"This is not just a drought for farmers, it's a drought for hairdressers, it's a drought for tyre businesses, it's a drought for cafes, it's a drought for everybody because the money dries up."