An empty dam in Queensland.
An empty dam in Queensland.

Plan to help communities in drought

A PLAN to give drought-affected councils $10 million each as a part of a $1.3 billion program has been pushed by The Nationals.

The proposal was endorsed by the party room on Monday and would see a drought committee formed of local councillors, the mayor, state and federal MPs and other community leaders who would get a say in where the funding would be targeted.

The Nationals have described the drought as a seminal issue for the regions and warned the party could lose votes to One Nation if they don’t act.

Capricornia MP Michelle Landry commented on the government’s existing $7 billion drought strategy.

She said it includes “the here and now with immediate assistance, such as the $3000 cash payments to families under the Drought Communities Support Initiative”.

There is also funds available for the rural communities and businesses doing it tough.

There are also preparations for future droughts with a fund that would provide $100 million every year to invest in drought resilience projects in both good times and bad, and developing a long-term strategy.

“We are continuing to listen and respond as the drought progresses and as our measures are implemented,” she said.

“Unfortunately, circumstances and external factors that impact the current drought are always changing, so our response to it must be flexible and ongoing.

“The true answer to drought relief is more rain, but the meantime while it isn’t raining, we need to provide relief to farmers and that’s what we are doing.

“We are getting on with the job of delivering drought relief to farming families.

“I commend the Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack and Minister David Littleproud for their hard work and support for farming families.”

Parliament sat for the last time in October yesterday.



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