Where would you allocate federal government funding?

Upper Lachlan farmer Vince Heffernan said he has offloaded about 75 per cent of his herd of Texel sheep to 2000 head off the back of the drought.

'Moorlands', between Biala and Dalton, is "incredibly dry" and usable rainfall has been dramatically reduced.

Drought-proof: Vince Heffernan 'Moorlands' says government funding of $1 million should be spent on upgrading roads, planning for population growth, tourism, and securing more jobs for school-leavers. Photo supplied

Drought-proof: Vince Heffernan 'Moorlands' says government funding of $1 million should be spent on upgrading roads, planning for population growth, tourism, and securing more jobs for school-leavers. Photo supplied

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"We keep thinking of others in the state that are worse off, but it's not good here," Mr Heffernan said.

On November 7, six additional councils (Greater Hume, Kangaroo Island, Tatiara, Lockhart, Hilltops and Upper Lachlan Shire) were included in the federal government's drought relief package. Across the country, 128 eligible councils will receive $1 million intended to stimulate the local economy.

Upper Lachlan Shire Council (ULSC) mayor John Stafford said the council had not lobbied to be included after being left out in the first round of funding, but was delighted.

ULSC acting general manager Andrew Croke said the funding would assist in safeguarding against future drought.

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The council was working through the detail.

Chair of the NSW Farmers Yass branch (representing Crookwell), Carolina Merriman said farmers should decide how the money was used.

Mr Heffernan would like to see the money spent on upgrading roads, including sealing the Rye Park Road and routes to the South Eastern Livestock Exchange in Yass; planning for population growth; tourism; and securing more jobs for school-leavers.

In a time where we look forward to more events from global warming like this drought, we have to diversify our paddocks.

Vince Heffernan

"It's not about being prosperous, but more secure," he said. "In a time where we look forward to more events from global warming like this drought, we have to diversify our paddocks. We have to start looking outside the square to where our strengths are and how we tap into that, we have to take advantage of that and make it work."

He said population growth and new homes would provide for jobs for school-leavers or an increased focus on tourism. "Everyone in this district would love to see jobs for our young kids leaving school.

"We are heavily dependent on agriculture in our area, we need to think about what we are facing in the future and what we can capitalise on," Mr Heffernan said.

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