Farmers walking off the land and families pulling their kids out of boarding schools are among the tales of suffering drought-stricken outback Queensland residents have told Malcolm Turnbull.
The prime minister on Tuesday took his drought "listening tour" to Blackall, a township of 1416 in the state's west, which has experienced a seven-year dry.
Blackall-Tambo Regional Council Mayor Andrew Martin expected the visit to inject some much-needed hope into the community.
Mr Martin flagged he has a wish list for Mr Turnbull that includes farm household assistance, tourism infrastructure for grey nomads in caravans and road upgrades.
"People are hanging on waiting for the rain and then we'll paddle our own canoe but in the meantime, we need the government to make a little bit of investment in our future and your dinner," he told AAP.
Mr Martin, a fourth generation merino sheep farmer, said his property was coping well, but others in the region were struggling.
"Some of them have no house water, their gardens are all dead ... generally, the only oasis you've got is your garden," Mr Martin said.
"They're carting water, or they've just walked off (the property in some extreme cases)."
He said money was tight and local businesses in town had been hit hard.
Some families had been forced to pull their children out of boarding school in Brisbane, he said.
The emotional toll of the drought was also a major issue Mr Martin wants to discuss with Mr Turnbull.
"People are on the soup (booze) ... there are all sorts of things that come with desperation," he said.
Mr Turnbull on Tuesday announced a $2 million boost to mental health services in rural and regional areas.
Aussie Helpers and Rural and Remote Mental Health, which provide counselling, will split the money.
"We're up here in Blackall to listen and learn about the situation and work out what more we can do in addition to the many services that we already provide," the prime minister said in a video message.
Mr Martin's local council area is one of 23 drought declared across Queensland - representing almost 60 per cent of the state's land mass.
Australian Associated Press