Lillie Jones is late and runs across the dust-covered land – which is a similar shade of red to her distinctive long hair – to try to catch her bus. The run to school at Coonabarabran High is over an hour away and she can’t afford to miss it.
The cold, hard truth is her family cannot afford to drive her to school. The 680-hectare farm that Lillie and her parents Les and Laura call home doesn’t have one blade of grass left on it. Every paddock is bare. They have been since last year, when the farming family lost nearly 1000 sheep, dozens of cows and an untold number of lambs and kid goats as the drought took a stranglehold. Only a few head of cattle and goats remain.
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September 16, 2019