The Australian Government is acting to help farmers through the problems of right now, and prepare for the future.
The National Drought Agreement was signed by the Prime Minister and Premiers on 12 December 2018 following the National Drought Summit, and sets out the approach governments are taking.
The Australian Government is doing its part by looking after our farmers and communities, while states and territories are responsible for ensuring animal welfare and land management issues.
The Morrison Government is delivering the $7 billion National Drought Response by:
1) Helping those affected right now. To date, we’ve helped over 12,700 farming families with around $100,000, paid over four years. It’s not a loan, it doesn’t ever have to be paid back. It’s there to help them get through.
This is in addition to a range of rebates, tax relief, concessional loans (saving farmers up to $60,000 in interest per year), and access to financial counselling.
2) Supporting wider communities. It’s not just farmers who are doing it tough, the businesses and communities that depend on our farmers also need help. That’s why we’ve provided $1 million each to over 120 drought affected local councils to get infrastructure projects off the ground. This helps keep locals employed and businesses going.
We’re also funding charities, including Vinnies, Salvation Army and the Country Women’s Association, with over $60 million to provide support where it is needed the most.
3) Building a more drought resilient Australia. We can’t make it rain, but we can be prepared for when it does. That’s why we established the $5 billion Future Drought Fund, to ensure in the good times and the bad there is money available to build resilience. And we have 21 water infrastructure projects on the go right now with more projects planned for the future.