Wednesday, 5th December 2018
Coalition Announces Drought Fund For Drought-Ravaged Communities
Stricken Queensland farmers will be able to build up their drought resilience after the Australian Government introduced legislation to establish a new $5 billion revenue stream in a game-changing bid to help drought-ravaged communities.
Since 2013, the Coalition Government has provided more than $1.3 billion in assistance measures to help farmers and communities in drought.
This includes the Farm Business Concessional Loans Scheme, the establishment of the Regional Investment Corporation (RIC), the Farm Household Allowance, the Managing Farm Risk Program, the Rural Financial Counselling Service and support to manage the effects of pest animals and weeds in drought-affected areas.
Now the Coalition Government will introduce the Future Drought Fund, which will initially be worth $3.8 billion but is expected to grow to $5 billion over the next decade, and will aid in the recovery of Australian farmers affected by the severe drought by assisting them to become more prepared and resilient.
From 1 July 2020, $100 million will be directed annually to fund a wide range of drought resilience projects.
Queensland Senator Ian Macdonald said the fund will also deliver infrastructure projects, promote the adoption of new technology and help improve environmental and natural resource management on farms.
“So many Queensland farmers are struggling with the impacts of the severe drought on their land, crops and livestock and it takes its toll on these farmers, emotionally and financially,” Senator Macdonald said.
“Through my visits to regional Queensland towns, I have seen first-hand the devastating effects the drought is having on our farmers and growers.
“This Fund will allow Queensland growers to be more resilient and prepared on the ground when it comes to coping with the impact of droughts.”
The Australian Government will develop and publish the Drought Resilience Funding Plan to ensure a transparent and consistent approach to funding drought resilience projects.
The Future Drought Fund will be managed by the Future Fund Board of Guardians.