Riverina councils have told a NSW Parliament inquiry they have suffered a "significant impact" from the drought and suggested how the government could help to rebuild their farms and towns.
Bland, Hay and Lockhart shire councils have all made submissions to the Committee on Investment, Industry and Regional Developments inquiry into support for drought affected communities in NSW.
Greater Hume Shire did not make a submission to the state inquiry but it did receive $1 million in drought assistance through the latest round of federal grants.
The grants were based on drought affected status and the proportion of people within the shire working in agriculture.
Lockhart Shire's submission urged the government to modify its drought assistance grants to "provide greater assistance to the establishment of drought proof industries".
"By way of example, council is currently in discussions with a potential investor looking to establish an intensive horticulture industry in the shire," Lockhart's submission stated.
"Using the latest technology, the proposal involves the growing of lettuces and other green vegetables and herbs in containerised climate-controlled conditions all year round."
The councils called for lower electricity prices, better water management and easier water recycling, support for 'drought-proof' industries and earlier intervention with drought relief.
Hay Shire provided the inquiry with the "key points" from a council meeting on drought this month.
"There is no doubt the drought has a significant impact on the local economy including job loses which results in population decline impacting small businesses, schools and other services," the submission stated.
Hay Shire also submitted that "cheaper electricity and reliable mobile phone and internet coverage will help attract and maintain businesses" and called for easing of regulations around the use of recycled water.
Bland general manager Ray Smith said his shire's submission highlighted "the importance of support programs and services such as mental health, drug and alcohol counselling, rural aid" and disability services.