Australian viewers buckled up for an eye-opening experience last night, watching the latest episode of SBS documentary series Struggle Street, which focused on the ongoing plight of Australia's dairy farmers.
The latest installment of the series, which premiered back in 2015, told the heart-breaking stories of two families living in Ashmont and towns across the Riverina region, where drought and isolation from support services continue to wreak havoc.
In particular, it was the story of dairy farmers Barry and Rosey, who live with their two kids in Deniliquin, NSW, that rendered viewers 'devastated' - with many reflecting on how they could alter their own grocery-shopping habits to help.
Speaking on camera, the farmers, who haven’t seen decent rainfall on their dairy farm in four years, explained that due to an absence of surface water, their family is completely dependent on a bore.
“Without the bore, it’s the equivalent to being pushed over the edge of a cliff where you have to just make another decision,” Barry said on the program.
“My wife would love to me to make the decision [to say] that’s it [and sell the farm]. The sad thing is I can’t make that decision. … I’m still struggling with the idea – that thought of not milking cows.”
Craig Reucassel from War on Waste and The Chaser shared his thoughts on Twitter, writing that Struggle Street "is just devastating and devastatingly brilliant at the same time."
Others called on Australia's leaders to step up and help.
"@ScottMorrisonMP I hope you are watching #StruggleStreet on #SBS," one tweeted.
"Looking forward seeing what you might be able to do as PM to ameliorate the sad situations presented."
Others were left astounded by the bleak situation so many of Australia's dairy farmers find themselves in - made worse by the competing costs of grain, repairs and land tax.
Barry and Rosey explained that in order to keep their family farm up and running, they had to lay off all their employees - now working day and night to care for their herd and young children.
“In a year like this when it’s not raining at all, [this all] couldn’t happen to us at a worse time.”
"Watching the dairy farmers story on #StruggleStreet is heartbreaking," a viewer wrote on social media.
"Would love to see the profit margin the big supermarkets are making on struggling farmers hard work. Surely its time for the government to step in and help out."
Another wrote: "Watching #StruggleStreet and I just want to cry."
If you were impacted by the episode, and want to help, here's how you can.
You can watch Season 3 of Struggle Street on Wednesday at 8.30pm on SBS. The four-part documentary will also be available to stream at SBS On Demand after broadcast.