A bid to lure the other states and territories toward supporting a national income protection scheme for farmers unfolded in bone dry Moree on Tuesday.
And NSW Agriculture Minister Adam Marshall was behind it.
He raised it during the AgMin meeting in northern NSW, which he requested so agriculture ministers from across the country could see firsthand just how bad the drought is.
"The NSW Government is of the firm belief that the best drought assistance measure a government can deliver is to help the agricultural industry self-insure and remove some of the volatility in the sector," Mr Marshall said.
"As this devastating drought rolls on and continues to ravage our rural communities it's clear governments need to think big and take ambitious action to protect our farmers and businesses against future droughts."
Mr Marshall said in a Facebook post that the income protection scheme, if it got off the ground, would help farmers in future droughts. He noted it was clear the government needed to "think big" and "take ambitious action to protect our farmers and businesses against future droughts".
"This is a national crisis - one we are living through here every single day," he wrote.
The state government put $2 million toward a partnership with the National Farmers Federation earlier this year to look at insurance models. That is still underway and will include looking at similar models overseas.
Right now 99.9 per cent of the state is in drought and about half is said to be in 'intense drought', according to the NSW Combined Drought Indicator.
All of the Hunter is in intense drought, drought or is drought-affected.
In Queensland another eight councils in South East Queensland have been declared drought affected. That takes the state's total to 67.4 per cent. The lack of rain, depleted pasture reserves and escalating concerns about agriculture water supply has influenced the drought declarations.
Mr Marshall also took to Facebook to say a more streamlined approach to drought assistance was necessary so farmers only had to contact one body to apply.
"The current division of funding responsibilities would remain, but the Commonwealth Government would simply cut a cheque for its share and NSW would administer it through the Rural Assistance Authority," he wrote.
"We also need to agree on drought recovery measures and jointly fund one set of programs and not repeat the current mess of drought assistance, which requires those in need to talk to two levels of government with different programs with different legality to criteria."