NSW Agriculture Minister Adam Marshall is working on a new drought support package

FOCUSED: NSW Agriculture Minister and Minister for Western NSW Adam Marshall is working on a new drought support package.
FOCUSED: NSW Agriculture Minister and Minister for Western NSW Adam Marshall is working on a new drought support package.

A new support package with help for drought-stricken towns and the wider agriculture workforce is in the works.

The state's new Agriculture Minister Adam Marshall, who took on the role last week, is working on the new measures and is determined to think outside the box in the fight against drought.

He is yet to visit a country town that isn't suffering from drought and said government support had to include ways to boost the economy and help people who were part of the farming industry but not employed on a farm.

"I have not been to a country town anywhere in the state that has not seen businesses close or businesses lay-off staff because of the impact of the drought. It is being felt in every aspect of our country communities," Mr Marshall said.

I am looking at how can the government provide support to contractors and rural communities to make sure that when we do come out the other side of drought that we still have the essential fabric of our rural and remote communities still in tact.

That's something opposition spokesman for primary industries Mick Veitch has previously said was needed.

Mr Marshall is also reviewing the current assistance for farmers and looking at what else the government can do to ease the pressure.

He acknowledged the government had already offered a range of support - worth almost $1.5 billion, and farmers had different needs as drought progressed.

Support measures are due to end on June 30 and Mr Marshall's new package is expected to begin on July 1. He is expected to introduce the measures in the coming weeks.

"I'm looking at how we could potentially provide better support to support farmers' changing needs as the drought continues," he said.

Mr Marshall is receiving regular drought briefings with the NSW Department of Primary Industries and said the latest seasonal outlook showed 99.5 per cent of the state was still battling drought with western and northern NSW facing significant hardship.

Mr Marshall, the Northern Tablelands MP, grew up on a farm and has experience with cropping and cattle production.

Both sides of his family have farmed since the end of World War II and he is the first member of his family that has not returned to work the land.