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The official declaration of a state of drought in parts of Otago and Southland has been welcomed by Clutha-Southland MP Hamish Walker, who says it will offer some relief to those affected.

“This is recognition that we are now beyond what is a normal dry summer, and into an extreme event – I’m pleased the Minister for Primary Industries Damien O’Connor has listened to our communities’ calls for action,” Mr Walker says.

“I’ve been lobbying the Minister for this declaration and I am glad he has acted with urgency.

“This is a highly stressful time for farmers and their families and access to support is invaluable.  With the added pressure of M. bovis, I urge farmers to reach out for help as these tough conditions persist.”

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