Disaster looming in North West

North Queensland based Senator Ian Macdonald today urged the Prime Minister and Treasurer to get out west and see for themselves the devastation wrought by the drought following on the heels of the Gillard governments disastrous decision to stop the live cattle export trade.

The situation in many parts of the west is very grim, Senator Macdonald said.

The graziers and farmers are doing it very tough and even the towns out there will be in trouble if it doesnt rain soon.

I welcome the Prime Minister's commitment to bringing forward the relief package for farmers from July 1 but, welcome as it is, this measure alone is not enough if we are to save our agricultural industry from serious difficulties.

Senator Macdonald said he was sure that if the Prime Minister and Treasurer could see for themselves the extent of this natural disaster it could help them formulate a response. Mt Hockey was in the west prior to the election but in many places like Cloncurry things have changed for the worse since then.

We know that droughts are a naturally occurring phenomenon, but this one has struck the industry harder coming so soon after the Gillard governments catastrophic intervention in banning the live cattle trade, Senator Macdonald said.

Mt Isa, Cloncurry and other western towns may soon become uninhabitable because of a lack of water.

Now is the time to build upon the work of the Coalitions Dams Task Force with the Commonwealth looking at where it can help the Queensland government to provide more permanent water storage in the North West, he said.

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