Monday, 20 August, 2018

State farm organisations welcome $190m Federal drought support package

Australia's Turnbull: 'Now we are the land of droughts' How drought relief actually ends up punishing Australian farmers
Theresa Hayes | 09 August, 2018, 02:22

'Our farmers put the food on our table and the fibre on our back.

Mr Turnbull has dismissed suggestions Australia ought to abandon global emissions reduction targets because they won't immediately help farmers.

The government will be funding an extra $190 million brings the total government funding to $576 towards drought-affected farmers and their families.

Instead of low-interest loans and cashback subsidies, the federal government is, for the first time, giving out lump-sum cash payments.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull comforting charity worker Edwina Robertson in the town of Trangie, west of Dubbo, during his visit to drought stricken areas of regional NSW. We admire their courage and we stand with them.

Drought-awareness campaigner Edwina Robertson is also anxious the money simply isn't enough.

"It is created to keep body and soul together, not created to pay for fodder", Mr Turnbull said on Monday.

McCormack echoed the prime minister and acknowledged the important role farmers have in the nation. "I find droughts a little bit like cancer - it sort of eats away at you, and it just gets drier and drier and more severe and more severe, and impacting on your life a lot worse".

Joyce, whose NSW electorate of New England has been badly affected by drought, believes reducing emissions in Australia won't change the climate.

"Any policy we do, it's more of a sense of a commitment to a wider purpose" he told Sky News.

Primary Producers SA executive chairman and former premier Rob Kerin urged farmers struggling as a result of drought to seek advice from the rural financial counselling service about whether they're eligible for government help.

"We are, as we have all said, the land of droughts and flooding rains, but we haven't had a drought this bad for a very, very long time, since the Bureau of Meteorology says 1965".

"It will have no difference on the climate whatsoever - zero, zip, nothing".

National Farmers' Federation chief executive officer Tony Mahar said the Government's support was a step in the right direction, but added there was no silver bullet.

Their concerns have been echoed by NSW agriculture minister Niall Blair, who is anxious attention on farmers shooting animals or leaving them to starve will undermine Australia's standing as a meat-producing nation.