New Catholic Bishop brings message of hope to drought-hit communitiesBy Chrissy Arthur, Tuesday June 10, 2014 - 13:47 EST
The new Catholic Bishop of Rockhampton says a visit to western Queensland has highlighted the impacts of the drought and the stresses on rural families.
Bishop Michael McCarthy has visited Longreach, Barcaldine, Blackall and Aramac in recent days, less than a fortnight after his ordination.
He says he has seen barren grazing land and met landholders to offer hope and support.
"First and foremost, it has been the drought [which] has been very much on my mind, just the stresses of the country people," he said.
"I really feel for the people of the west.
"Personally I think they are doing very, very well in themselves, considering what is going on but my commitment is to be out here a few times a year and just to be part of the community.
"I've seen the land that is barren, I have seen the cattle that are poor and the sheep.
"It is just so disheartening and you can see it on their faces, how hard it is.
"It is just good to be here and to stand in solidarity with you.
"Hopefully God will bless the earth again with rain, and until that time, I am hopeful that they will keep hope."
© ABC 2014
More breaking news
A well known Queensland stud cattle breeder says years of drought and the changing climate is why his family sold its Queensland property and relocated half their herd to King Island.
Farmers across of Australia have been forced to cut areas of their cereal crops for wheaten hay, despite the product's lack of appeal on international markets.
Parts of coastal QLD received their heaviest October rain in five years.