ABC Breakfast crew with Michael Rowland takes drought into city living rooms

POPULAR: Mayor Simon Murray with ABC's Michael Rowland and Scot and Aileen MacDonald.
POPULAR: Mayor Simon Murray with ABC's Michael Rowland and Scot and Aileen MacDonald.

Aunty is touring the Granite Belt in Queensland and Northern Tablelands to check out the drought. A team from the ABC Breakfast Show brought its host Michael Rowland to Guyra on Tuesday morning to speak with locals about their experiences and perhaps get a glimpse of their outlook.

Armidale Regional Council Mayor Simon Murray was interviewed by Mr Rowland about the deteriorating water situation in this region and thought it was very good coverage of the situation.

"It was terrific coverage. The ABC has such a broad reach. Friends of mine up in Claremont saw it, and down at Cabarita and people in Canberra were watching. I've had a number of people ring," he said.


"I think it is more than just identifying Guyra. They've been looking at all the towns along the great divide and at just how dire the whole situation is.

"It's good for the urban community who are getting rain, and therefore not seeing the people who are facing a far different situation than they are."

Cr Murray said it was the farmers telling those living in metropolitan areas that they were feeding seven days a week, for "x" number of hours per day.

"Telling them that their lives are consumed with keeping stock alive and trying to source the next mouthful for them," Cr Murray said.

"It is consuming people to the point where they're wondering if they should get out and live a life. Do they go to the pub and have a beer with their friends? Ultimately, that will have an effect on their mental state.

"National coverage is good because you never know who is watching, which politicians or influential people are watching and may say 'I didn't know it was that bad, we had better do something about this.'."

Cr Murray said it was also as much about regional families and small business as farmers.

"I did get my hair cut this morning and they're seriously re-evaluating their situation. It's the little businesses that close with older people running them that will probably never open up again," he said.