AN INQUIRY into support for drought hit communities has released 10 findings and recommendations to give them a leg-up, in an interim report.
It was informed by resilient voices from all across the state, with representations from both Namoi Unlimited and the New England Joint Organisation (NEJO).
Town water security, the current state and federal government drought supports, business help, training and education and mental health concerns were the main issues raised.
One of the key issues for NEJO was finding a way to secure water in regional towns, chair Michael Pearce said.
"Water is a valued commodity and we are doing our best to lobby where we can as councils and a joint organisation," he said.
"I think the drought has really opened everybody's eyes.
"You hear stories, it's impacted everywhere, I have heard horror stories about mental health, suicide, domestic violence and it's very disturbing.
"Then you have COVID-19 on top of everything, I think everyone is more switched on to look toward the future."
Identified in the report was the need for a standardised system of water restrictions, more water security for towns and resilience officers in regional communities to help deal with the impacts of drought.
The need for a singular portal for all state and federal drought assistance was also identified, among other issues.
The inquiry looked at the support that was needed now, as many communities battle on without rain, and into the future to repair the damage done, NSW Industry, Investment and Regional Development Legislative Assembly committee chair MP Justin Clancy said.
"This drought is one of the most severe in our state's history, and it was important to the committee to examine what support our communities need now while experiencing drought, and importantly, what support is needed to recover and prepare for the future," he said.
"We heard that financial hardship is leading to increased stress, homelessness, family breakdown, anxiety, depression and drug and alcohol abuse.
"This is one of the areas which the committee is keen to focus on moving forward."
The NSW Legislative Assembly Committee on Industry, Investment and Regional Development tabled its interim drought support report on Thursday.