For all the updated information regarding Covid-19 click here.   For my latest media as Prime Minister click here.

Delivering for Drought Stricken Communties

THE DROUGHT:


Since my first days as Prime Minister, I’ve been listening and responding to farmers and farming communities. It is those stories which have been informing the Government’s ongoing and substantial responses to drought.


I want you to know that for however long the drought lasts, we will continue to listen, respond and step-up. Since the election alone, we have committed an extra $1 billion in grants and payments to support drought affected farmers and communities.


The Government has a Drought Response, Resilience and Preparedness Plan – and we are implementing the plan. 


Our Plan has three parts:


1. Helping those affected right now We’ve helped over 12,700 farming families, with more than $100,000, paid over four years. That’s not a loan, it doesn’t ever have to be paid back. Details about our other initiatives such as generous interest free concessional loans, tax relief for farmers, rebates for on-farm emergency water management and financial counselling are available at www.farmhub.org.au 


2. Supporting wider communities We’re also supporting the rural towns and communities that depend on our farmers, who are also doing it tough.


This support includes:


• Economic stimulus to more than 120 local councils
• More than $50 million to charities including Vinnies, the Salvos and CWA to provide vouchers and cash to people in need
• Support to keep kids at school and help for child care centres


3. Building a more drought resilient Australia


We also must look to the future for when the drought ends.


We are building a more drought resilient Australia through the establishment of a $5 billion Future Drought Fund and by putting the infrastructure in place to help us deal with future droughts.


From our $3.5 billion water funds, we have 21 water infrastructure projects committed to, or on the go right now, all across the country. 


The new National Water Grid Authority will develop the national water infrastructure plan aimed at drought proofing regional Australia. 


We do not know how long this drought will last. We know we can’t make it rain. But no matter how long this drought lasts, we will stand together.