Thousands of people are praising 21yo farmer Kate McBride's fierce performance on Q&A.

Exhausted, frustrated and fed-up farmers filled the ABC Q&A audience last night, but no one was more eloquent in getting the message across than 21-year-old panelist Kate McBride, a grazier from Menindee.

Sitting on a panel with the federal Minister for Water, Resources and Drought and the Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Kate was fierce in her defence of people on the land.

“Drought packages are focused on big people, big business… there’s this idea that you get big or get out. That’s the genuine feeling,” she told them.

Here’s Kate going head to head with the Minister for Drought, David Littleproud. Post continues after video.

Video by ABC

Kate couldn’t help but shoot furious looks at the two politicians throughout the entirety of the hour-long show as they defended government mismanagement of water. Kate retorted with calls for a royal commission into the handling of the Murray Darling Basin, a statement that was met with cheers from the crowd.

“That’s the only way I see a future, we need to get to the bottom of what’s gone wrong,” she said.

“There are people leaving the land out our way and millions of fish dying and it was only after videos went viral that we had anybody come out and visit us,” she explained.


It was the response to a country principal’s story about a young boy at his school who asked: “Is there anybody outside Trundle that really cares about us?” that really showed the stark difference between what was front of mind for politicians verses farming families.

“I’ve got kids that are going out to their farms and they don’t know what Dad will do tomorrow. Whether they’ll be there next week or somebody will foreclose on their farm,” John Southern from Trundle recalled on the brink of tears.

But as David Littleproud and Joel Fitzgibbon argued with each other about the amount of money being allocated to families, and the “lies” apparently heard in parliament about what the government was or wasn’t doing, Kate wasn’t having any of it.

“The question was about what’s the future for the kids, and that’s exactly my question as well,” she said when host Hamish McDonald asked her what she thought of their squabbling.

“As a young farmer, I’m 21 years old, where is my future in all this? I spoke to people this week saying there were people in their communities taking kids out of boarding school because they can’t afford it anymore,” she said.

kate mcbride q and a
Kate wasn't afraid to call the politicians out last night on Q&A. Image: ABC.

"That’s destroying their future. But they get dragged back to a property where they can’t see a future themselves. What are we doing for these kids? They come home and there’s nothing for them there.

"What are we doing and how are we helping these kids?" she asked, putting the politician's 'he said, he said' argument to shame.

In another fierce retort between Kate and David Littleproud, she told the minister he was effectively telling her community there was nothing they could do for them.


"[We have] the lowest ever inflows into Menindee Lakes and that’s not just because of drought. Point the finger at mismanagement and over-extraction. How can you say to those people, and myself included that live along there, ‘we’re not going to put any more water back in the river from buybacks. You guys have to sit at the end of the river and die’. That’s what you’re telling us right now,” she told him.

A question from Wilcannia Indigenous leader, Badger Bates, asking why his river was so dry was met with "I'm sorry, I can't make it rain," from Littlewood. To which a fired up Kate replied with,"When it does rain, that water is embargoed by the states. So that water can’t actually get down to places like Wilcannia. I’ve been out there and know the people there. The male life expectancy of that town is 37. How are we not fixing those issues?”

"Our townships are dying. It’s heartbreaking. That’s where I was born and brought up. It’s my home. Now there’s nothing there. You can hardly go into the shops to get the things you need," she told the panel.

Social media fell in love with the young farmer, who so eloquently put into words what the politicians involved in the night seemed to be unable to comprehend.


Did you watch Q&A last night? What were your thoughts on the discussion? Let us know in the comments below.