Australian farmers allowed to kill kangaroos amid record levels of drought

Farmers in Australia’s most populous state have been given enhanced authority to shoot kangaroos because of the drought.

The conditions in New South Wales this year have been the driest and most widespread since 1965.

The state government said on Wednesday that 100% of its land area of more than 309,000 square miles was now in drought.

Land has become incredibly dry in the area. Credit: 7 News

The intensely dry spell has caused kangaroos to compete with livestock for sparse pasture.

It has led to the government lifting the number of kangaroos that farmers are allowed to shoot and reduced bureaucratic red tape facing landholders applying for permission to shoot.

The government has announced more provisions in addition to the $386 million drought relief available. Credit: 7 News

Australia’s prime minister Malcolm Turnbull has unveiled a package of measures to assist farmers coping with the conditions.

Provisions include an extra $5 million injection in the Rural Financial Counselling Service to relieve the stress on farmers.

In a series of tweets, Mr Turnbull said: "We understand the mental toll the drought takes on farmers, families and rural communities.

"These measures are immediate and material. They are on top of the $386 million in drought relief we have already announced and the drought concessional loans, and there is more to come."