Australians are being urged to buy their Christmas gifts from country outlets to help support drought-stricken areas.
NSW Liberal senator Hollie Hughes wants Australians to consider splurging with small businesses in regional communities by using an online portal.
"We don't need to buy from the usual suspects," Senator Hughes said on Friday.
"These businesses mainly exist because of the agriculture around them and when drought is devastating the land, we need to think laterally about other ways to support rural and regional economies.
"The difference so many Australians can make if they choose to buy from a country business will spread a lot of goodwill to our hard-working families in the bush."
Shoppers can purchase goods through gocountryforchristmas.com.au and businesses can register their outlet on the website.
Senator Hughes said more than a dozen of her colleagues had contributed to setting up the website which costs "a couple of thousand dollars" but admitted she was yet to garner opposition support.
She insisted regional business owners didn't want "a handout" but were simply trying to survive.
"I don't think you can fully understand when you live in a metropolitan area, the real bite the drought is having and what it's like in town," she said.
"These businesses don't come back when it rains. It rains, the grass grows, you get another year of crop.
"But the local stores, they don't necessarily restart again."
Australian Associated Press
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