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giftedviz.com October 23, 2018


More support announced for farming families affected by drought

09 August 2018, 02:21 | Ross Houston

More support announced for farming families affected by drought

More support announced for farming families affected by drought

The Turnbull government will be giving out lump-sum payments through the Farm Household Allowance.

This is a special payment in recognition of the severity of the drought.

A truck stirs up dust on a road behind a dam on farmer May McKeown's drought-affected property located on the outskirts of the northwestern New South Wales town of Walgett in Australia, July 19, 2018.

The payments will be made on September 1, 2018, and March 1, 2019.

In recent years federal policy has been focused on "drought proofing" and preparedness for dry periods.

The Federal Government made the decision to lift the asset cap for Farm Household Allowance eligibility from $2.6 million to $5 million.

"What that will do is provide additional cash in this coming year".

A few weeks back Crikey optimistically wondered if, by emphasising the need for resilience on the part of farmers in the face of drought and climate change, Malcolm Turnbull was ushering in a new, more sensible approach to drought relief.

"If everybody took the view that they weren't going to do anything because their contribution doesn't make much difference, then nothing would happen", Turnbull said.

From ground level, Australia's drought looks like a featureless, brown dustbowl, but from the air it transforms into an artistry of color and texture as the land cracks under a blazing sun. The NSW government has also provided more than $1 billion in assistance for farmers.

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The Prime Minister has flagged more government support if the drought continues to pile pressure on farmers.

"We also welcome the increased funding for The Rural Financial Councillor network".

He reaffirmed Australia's commitment to reducing carbon emissions after former prime minister Barnaby Joyce said the government's action would do nothing to stop droughts.

"The forecasts are not always right as we know, but it looks tough and the croppers look like they won't get a winter crop in in New South Wales", he told Triple M.

As drought hits hard in north-western NSW, kangaroos are swamping the township of Gunnedah in search of grass on front lawns and water from sprinklers.

"Parts of western and southern Queensland have been in drought for more than six years, which has overwhelmed even the best efforts of producers to prepare", he said.

Mr Maudsley also commended the private sector organisations, charities, media outlets and individuals who had continued to provide support for drought-affected communities. "When farmers do it well the whole nation benefits, when farmers do it tough, as they are now the whole nation suffers", he said during the press conference.

But National Farmers Federation president Fiona Simpson pointed to a 45 per cent reduction in red meat industry emissions between 2005 and 2015.

He says every area of farming technology is improving all the time but we do have the problem of a very volatile climate - and it appears to be getting more volatile as time goes by.

His comments come as Agriculture Minister David Littleproud was slammed for claiming a connection between man-made climate change and the drought was a "big call".



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