Prime Minister Tony Abbott will go bush on Sunday, touring drought-affected areas of New South Wales and Queensland to see first-hand the impacts of the drought on farmers.
He signalled the government will expand its drought relief for farmers, who have been battling worsening drought conditions.
Seventy per cent of Queensland and 52 per cent of NSW is now in drought.
Joining Mr Abbott will be Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce, who has been publicly lobbying for more drought assistance for farmers, and who is preparing a cabinet submission on more help for struggling rural communities.
Late on Saturday, Mr Abbott released a YouTube clip telling Australians he wanted to see the impact of the drought for himself.
"This hasn't just been a dry summer, it's been a dry couple of years," Mr Abbott said.
"Much of inland Queensland and inland NSW, as well as parts of Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia are experiencing very dry conditions indeed."
Mr Abbott said his first stop would be in Bourke, in north-west NSW. There, he said, he will speak to farmers and local leaders about "what's happening on their properties and in their communities".
"I've read the letters and emails that country people have sent me and I want to see for myself what's needed to help our regional communities to respond to this drought because the government response must be targeted, effective and not caught up in red tape," he said.
"I know that more needs to be done – and it will be done, in a way that's fair and fiscally responsible."
January rainfall was very much below average across much of northern and western Queensland as well as along the east coast and adjacent inland from Rockhampton to southern Victoria.
The weather bureau says most of Queensland west of the ranges, northern NSW, north-eastern South Australia and the south-eastern Northern Territory has received less than 65 per cent of the long-term average rainfall during the past 16 months.
In his video, Mr Abbott claimed the ongoing drought illustrated the need to abolish the carbon tax.
"Drought is a big hit on local economies – that's another reason we have to get taxes down and business costs down," the prime minister said.
"It's another reason why we've got to get rid of the carbon tax. By scrapping the carbon tax we'll get electricity and gas bills down and that'll make life easier for families across Australia, including in drought hit areas.
I am determined to give regional Australia the support you need to face this challenge."
– with AAP