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Monday, 19 September 1994
Page: 890


Senator TIERNEY —I give notice that, on the next day of sitting, I shall move:

  That the Senate—

  (a)realises that this drought is a true natural disaster that is fast developing into the worst prolonged drought in Australia this century;

  (b)acknowledges that the drought in some parts of Queensland and New South Wales is no ordinary drought, with farmers experiencing up to eight successive crop failures in 4 years;

  (c)expresses absolute contempt for a Prime Minister who ignored the evolving drought crisis from the comfort of the Lodge and Kirribilli House for 4 long years, without attempting to redefine drought policy to save rural communities;

  (d)insists that the Federal Government return immediately to direct drought aid funding through the natural disaster relief arrangements, in this time of extreme drought which is beyond the control of efficient management practices; and

  (e)calls for farming families on properties that have no cash flow to be given immediate access to social security payments to ensure eligibility for benefits for the disadvantaged in city and country alike.