Australia From a family who was car-bombed to the little boy growing up on a drought-ravaged farm: The heartbreaking stories on this season's controversial SBS reality show Struggle Street are revealed

05:25  08 october  2019
05:25  08 october  2019 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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Australians in neighbourhoods more resembling war zones and others in bone-dry communities fighting to survive the worst drought on record feature in this season's Struggle Street.

SBS's unflinching reality series returns to screens on Wednesday and takes a deep dive into the lives of everyday Aussie battlers.

The latest season, which begins on Wednesday night, profiles residents in the troubled Riverina region in New South Wales.

Some locals are struggling to simply pay their rent. Others live in fear of their cars being fire bombed.

The four-part documentary details the impacts of homelessness, mental illness, drug and alcohol abuse and lack of health care.

The first series was filmed in the western Sydney suburb of Mount Druitt and sparked controversy with critics labelling it 'poverty porn' and residents unhappy with how they were portrayed.

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Kristi and her partner are trying to get by as they work multiple jobs just to afford rent for their home in Wagga Wagga.

They have transformed their family home into a low-key surveillance centre with 10 CCTV cameras after a spate of out-of-control car bombings in the area.

Kristi spends her time out of home and working as a cleaner and her husband juggling two jobs.

As the couple sleep soundly in their beds one night, a person wanders around their back fence and hurtles a molotov cocktail over the boundary and on to the car.

Security footage shows the flames engulfing the vehicle and burning everything inside - including Kristi's cleaning equipment.

A heartbroken Kristi builds up the strength to assess the damage of the car the following morning.

All that remains is the hollow shell of the once-functioning car as its burned metal frame idles in the backyard.

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'They couldn’t steal it, so we’ll demolish it. "Someone’s got something good that we want that we can’t have we’ll destroy it so they don’t have it either". It makes me want to cry.'

More than 140 cars were stolen and set alight in the area 2018 alone. Almost 1,000 incidents of malicious damage to property were also reported.

Mason and Katherine have been pushed to breaking point and are seriously considering relocating after a break-in at their home.

'Some people say get the heck out of there - it’s not OK that you don’t feel safe,' Katherine said.

They have been raising their three-year-old daughter and hoped to set up a life in the community.

After spending a night away from home, the family returned to find it had been ransacked and their irreplaceable values stolen.

'My daughter is three,' Katherine said.

'Do I want her to go to school here? Do I want her growing up in this community?'

Meanwhile on the other side of the Riverina in Deniliquin, dairy farmers Barry and Rosey are at their wits end on how to save their struggling enterprise that has been part of the family for four generations.

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Four years without decent rain and the added strain of low milk prices have forced the couple to seriously consider throwing in the towel.

Footage shows a glimpse of the extent of damage the dry conditions have had on the farm.

Cattle stand in dusty paddocks while a dry, barren landscape dominates the scene.

'The price we are getting, you can’t make money,' Barry said.

'There’s just no way you can make money. I heard another local farmer tell me that one of the main Victorian manufacturers are not expecting to have any farmers left on this side of the border by the time this drought finishes, because the milk price that the manufacturers can pay is just too low.

'You know, it’s been the perfect storm: low milk prices, low rainfall and this year the heat’s been really high.'

The pair have to consider their two young children and what is best for their future.

In an emotional moment, Barry reflects on how even his five-year-old son has cottoned on to the dire situation.

'I tell me little five year old farmers don't give up and he reckons he repeats that, "farmers don't give up daddy".'

The third season of Struggle Street will premier on SBS at 8.30pm on Wednesday.

Read more

How a distraught farmer whose story Alan Jones labelled as everything wrong with the government's drought response is now BACKING the PM - after a heartfelt call .
Last week Mark Hollman broke down in tears as he told a supportive Alan Jones of the devastating impact of drought on his family and how he had 'no hope' of help from the government.A distraught caller whose story broadcaster Alan Jones hailed as a 'metaphor' for government inaction on the drought has praised Prime Minister Scott Morrison for giving farmers hope.

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