Drought help, policy the talking point for unnamed 5

Share your tale: Namoi Unlimited chairman and Gunnedah shire mayor Jamie Chaffey with Tamworth Chamber of Commerce vice-president Steph Cameron.

Share your tale: Namoi Unlimited chairman and Gunnedah shire mayor Jamie Chaffey with Tamworth Chamber of Commerce vice-president Steph Cameron.

FIVE "community champions" from the region will join the national conversation about drought and its impacts in Canberra this month.

Namoi Unlimited will lead the delegation of local leaders and business people, who are yet to be named, for the talks with the nation's decision-makers.

They will advocate for programs and incentives they believe will help businesses and communities in their council areas of Walcha, Tamworth, Gunnedah, Gwydir and Liverpool Plains.

Namoi Unlimited chairman Jamie Chaffey said the group would take the chance to share local stories of "heartache and hope" and to "advocate strongly" for what they needed.

"The impact of this drought is very broad," Cr Chaffey said.

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"It's impacting small business owners, large employers, contractors, employees, schools - towns and the entire region ...

"Our concerns are that, anecdotally, people are leaving the region to find casual or more permanent employment.

"They are driving substantial distances for work, with or without family; we see our employment and population pressures are not being addressed.

"Both the state and the commonwealth are investing substantial amounts in drought funding - billions of dollars have been spent; however, some of it seems to be missing the mark for our communities."

Each council will nominate someone from their shire to be in the delegation.

People are being asked to share their ideas on drought support, resilience and recovery on social media under the hashtag #mydroughtstory or emailing info@namoiunlimited.com.au.

Wanted: Loans, amenities and more

Namoi Unlimited recently wrote to the Prime Minister and NSW Premier with some of its ideas to help relieve some stresses of drought.

Their wishlist from the federal government includes: extending the eligibility criteria for drought loans to small business; funding for preschools for social and mental health resources for children; and an extension to the On-farm Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate Scheme.

The desired state government initiatives include: training for locals to upskill for casual work opportunities; funding for a tourism campaign for the Namoi region; funding to open free, 24/7 public amenities such as showers and laundries; and an increase in NSW Police numbers to address higher rural crime.