Turnbull to visit drought-stricken farmers

Paul Osborne
Malcolm Turnbull is touring drought-affected communities in NSW and Queensland this week

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will tour regional NSW and Queensland towns this week to visit communities struggling with drought.

His visit, alongside Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack and Agriculture Minister David Littleproud, comes as farmers in some drought-ravaged areas call for more government assistance.

Treasurer Scott Morrison said the prime minister and two ministerial colleagues would report to cabinet on what more could be done to ease pressure on farmers and their communities.

"This has been one of the driest periods they have seen in those parts of the country and things are getting very, very difficult," Mr Morrison told reporters in Sydney on Monday.

"The prime minister and the deputy prime minister are out there listening very carefully to what's occurring on the ground and will be coming back and discussing with cabinet colleagues about where we go from here."

Mr Turnbull will visit Dubbo, Trangie, Narromine, Blackall, Charleville and Boulia on the three-day tour, which are some of the areas hardest hit by a once-in-20-year drought.

Parts of Mr Littleproud's Queensland electorate of Maranoa have been in drought for more than six years.

He told ABC radio on Monday the trip was about listening to farmers and small business owners.

The minister said he was concerned that many people who are eligible for assistance have not yet applied.

"We need an understanding on the ground about what can be done better," Mr Littleproud said.

Asked whether more funding would be made available, he said, "It depends what it looks like. We have to live within our means, but we have to help farmers build resilience."