Shadow Minister for Local Government Greg Warren and Shadow Minister for Water and the Hunter Clayton Barr visit councils to discuss devastating impact of drought on communities

IT seems to be a common phrase these days - "more talk, less action".

And, that appears the case again after the Shadow Minister for Local Government Greg Warren and Shadow Minister for Water and the Hunter Clayton Barr visited a number of councils throughout the region this week to discuss the devastating impact of the drought on communities.

The duo met representatives from Cessnock and Singleton on Thursday, although a similar get-together scheduled for Muswellbrook was abandoned.

The pair claimed NSW Government support for communities and councils had been extremely difficult to come by.

Upper Hunter MP Michael Johnsen also copped criticism, although he's been a strong advocate for his electorate during the tough conditions.

Mr Warren said the state government had a lot to answer for.

"Councils and communities have been crying out for help but the Nationals have continually ignored those pleas," he stated.

"Communities throughout the state have been ravaged and devastated by the drought yet relief, respite and rebates have been grossly inadequate.

"The Member for Upper Hunter is one member of the Coalition who has been particularly disappointing in terms of advocating and fighting for his community.

"I'd advise the Minister for Local Government to get out of Macquarie Street and up to Cessnock, Singleton and Muswellbrook and talk to people in this great region face-to-face."

Mr Barr said it was common place for the government to play politics with everything, including drought.

"In the case of the Upper Hunter, they are even ignoring the electorate of one of their own MPs," he explained.

"We know this government has failed to spend money from the ideological sell-off of the state assets in regional NSW; they've failed to spend money allocated to Resources for Regions funding in mining-affected communities; and they've failed to accelerate key projects like the Singleton and Muswellbrook bypasses.

"It's all Sydney, Sydney, Sydney.

"This government has ripped more than 400 public sector jobs from the Upper Hunter since 2011.

"That's 400 reliable wages and 400 families.

"That's $40 million per year not circulating in the economy during this terrible drought."