The Federal Minister for Agriculture has defended the effectiveness of his department's drought assistance program.
Barnaby Joyce says 2,853 families Australia wide are now receiving household payments.
He explains there are ongoing efforts to make assistance more accessible to landholders suffering the effects of drought.
"Do I say that we're doing a great job and there's nothing better we can do? No I don't," he said.
"Am I always trying to do the job better, yes I am.
"People say well we want to make it more streamlined so I do discuss with the Department of Human Services how we can streamline it, how we can make it more convenient."
© ABC 2014
19:30 EST Parts of Sydney and the Blue Mountains have been blanketed by large hailstones as a severe thunderstorm moves across the area.