QUESTIONS have been raised about why New England communities missed out on millions in drought funding, which instead went to a Victorian council in the midst of a record farming year.
New England MP Barnaby Joyce said the councils in his electorate were overlooked, despite being among the worst drought-affected regions in the country, as they had already received similar grants at the end of last year and the government didn't want to "double up".
However, it's a stance Mr Joyce said he'll be pushing to be reviewed when the federal treasurer and agriculture minister visit Inverell on Wednesday.
"They should reconsider it," he said.
"Things are going to get a lot tougher. These grants give towns an economic stimulus in a time where the work is drying up with the water."
The Victorian council of Moyne Shire was among 13 councils to receive the $1m grants, but is considering whether to reject the funding, because it's currently experiencing one of its best farming seasons after plenty of rain.
Cr Colin Ryan questioned how the shire could accept the funding when there were others in dire need.
"How can we accept it when there are northern farmers suffering dreadfully and we are not?" he said.
Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said the decision was made based on weather data from the Bureau of Meteorology. However, he's since ordered a review after a shire councillor called the decision "more than an embarrassment".
"As of June 30, according to the bureau, 62 per cent of that shire was in drought," he said.
"I'll be asking for a forensic audit by the bureau to make sure that data collection was right, but that's the science we predicate our decisions on."
Mr Littleproud and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg will visit Inverell on Wednesday to "specifically to deal with drought issues".
Mr Joyce said it would be an opportunity for him to push several agendas, including funding more dams across the region.
"It's not just the water potential; the construction gives so many local people jobs," he said.