NSW Farmers welcomes long term drought support

NSW Farmers’ Association has today welcomed the federal government’s drought announcements which focus on a long term approach to drought management in Australia.

The measures announced today at the Drought Summit in Canberra include the Future Drought Fund, a $3.9 billion initiative that aims to improve drought resilience, preparedness and recovery across regional Australia.

The Fund will provide grants to assist primary producers, non-government organisations and regional communities to prepare for and respond to the impact of drought.

It will also provide for services, research, assist adoption of technology, advice and infrastructure to support long term sustainability in the event of drought, through capital or ongoing initiatives. 

Other announcements include: 
$50 million for stock watering infrastructure on drought-affected farms.
The number of councils eligible for funding under the Drought Communities Programme (DCP) is being increased from 60 to 81.
$11m for expand services under the empowering communities initiative at the 6 existing Primary Health Networks (PHN) (subject to drought) and add two new PHNs in the Nepean Blue Mountains and South East regions.
$30 million for selected charities to continue supporting farmers, farm workers and farm suppliers who are facing hardship arising from drought.
President of NSW Farmers’ Association, James Jackson, said today’s measures should go some of the way in helping farmers to address drought impacts and underpin productivity. 

“Taking a long term approach to drought management planning is essential in Australia because droughts aren’t a matter of if, but when in this country.

“Being as drought prepared as possible is essential to protecting the country’s farmers and the next 100 billion industry,” Mr Jackson said.

Before today’s Drought Summit, NSW Farmers had been advocating for a national approach to drought management, additional funding for regional financial councillors, as well as a reduction in red tape around the applications for drought assistance, such as the Farm Household Allowance.  

“It will be critical for a strong farming sector into the future that the federal, state and local governments work together with farmers and regional communities to improve water infrastructure so that our farmers can deliver sustainable and economic benefit for all Australians.”

“The reality is there isn’t a one size fits all approach to drought management. It requires a multi-pronged approach that will inevitably change as drought continues, but the best time to prepare for drought is in the good years, and it’s been pleasing to see this recognition in Canberra today,” Mr Jackson concluded. 

Date: Friday 26 October 2018
Media Contact:   Kathleen Curry  |  Public Affairs Director | 0429 011 690