BOLLON producer Ian Winks knows LNP Senator Barry O'Sullivan can't produce the 100 millimetres of rain he needs to "bugger this drought off", but he hopes the new Senator can take one clear message back to Canberra. Don't forget about us.
A devastating 75pc of Queensland remains drought declared and, with the Bureau of Meteorology predicting a drier than average summer, farmers are staring down the barrel of another failed wet season. It's a harrowing thought and with the mercury set to sizzle above 40C across western Queensland late this week, the stress levels of landholders are ratcheting up fast.
Last week Mr O'Sullivan toured the far south-west, where he was continually met by frustrated locals, pleading with him to remind the politicians in Canberra of their existence.
"Old Barnaby (Joyce), he's got to convince the rest of the cabinet to side with him when he puts something forward, and now Barry is in the same boat," Mr Winks said.
"He's got to be determined to keep fighting for us out here.
"The nation has to be jolly well fed and it's only the people of the bush that can do it."
Like many graziers, Mr Winks is feeding his remaining Santa Gertrudis-Hereford crossbred cattle and was forced to send a couple of hundred steers to a feedlot just yesterday.
However, the drought is only opening up deeper cracks to bigger issues facing his family. Mr Winks said inequity in services and infrastructure was driving young people out of remote communities.
"Without some incentive, at the end of the day, they're not going to stay," he said.
"They won't do what all our forefathers have done - they'll pack up and leave instead."