Landry welcomes $400 million support for drought area

FAST tracked tax deprecation for fencing, water and fodder storage and more money for community projects, feral pest control, rural counselling and concessional loans - all form part of an on-going budget package to help drought stricken farmers.

Capricornia MP Michelle Landry has welcomed further support announced in last night's Federal budget.

She said it would support communities hit by the drought in Queensland - including areas west of Clermont - taking the total value of measures available in this year's budget to more than $400 million.

In addition to $333 million announced at the weekend, the Federal Government will provide $70 million to assist primary producers claim accelerated depreciation for water facilities, fodder storage and fencing from 1 July 2016.

"Drought is part of the landscape in Capricornia and whilst some areas continue to battle severe conditions, as a nation we must better prepare for drought in the long term," said Ms Landry

""This is a practical package that funds shovel ready projects, helps with feral animals, expands community support, and provides more financial counsellors and further drought concessional loans.

"Droughts don't last forever - so we need to keep as many people in jobs and families on properties while it continues.

"The package is about local jobs, local spending and keeping our towns and communities going through these tough times."

Ms Landry said the $70 million in depreciation measures was in addition to other measures already announced as part of the Budget:

  • $35 million for shovel-ready, local infrastructure and employment projects;
  • $25 million to manage pest animals and weeds in drought-affected areas
  • $20 million to expand existing social and community support programmes
  • $1.8 million for additional rural financial counsellors in drought-affected areas
  • $250 million in 2015-16 to continue access to existing drought specific concessional loans schemes.

"This assistance builds on the existing Commonwealth support to farmers experiencing hardship which is currently flowing to over 4,800 farmers or their partners," Ms Landry said.

Ms Landry said further measures will be announced in the forthcoming Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper.

For information on the new drought support measures go to www.agriculture.gov.au/drought.



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