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PM playing favourites with drought relief.



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Gavan O'Connor MP MEMBER FOR CORIO SHADOW MINISTER FOR AGRICULTURE AND FISHERIES

18 October 2006

PM PLAYING FAVOURITES WITH DROUGHT RELIEF

The Prime Minister is clearly playing favourites with drought relief.

The 18 Exceptional Circumstances (EC) declarations that were extended or “rolled over” includes a number that were not due to expire until next year.

Likewise the 38 EC declarations that were not extended include several that have already expired or will expire shortly.

By playing favourites the Prime Minister has left many farmers in a very uncertain situation.

EC areas that were extended even though they weren't due to expire until next year: • Upper North Cropping District (SA) (original expiry date 24 January 2007) • Eastern Riverina (irrigated dairy farmers) (NSW) (original expiry date 2 February 2007) • Campaspe Irrigation System (Vic) (original expiry date 5 February 2007)

EC areas that were not extended but expired last week or will expire later this year: • Moree West (NSW) (11 October 2006) • Central North-North-West (NSW) (11 October 2006) • Gundagai (NSW) (3 November 2006) • Gundagai East (NSW) (10 November 2006) • Narrandera RLPB Divisions B, C and D (NSW) (30 November 2006) • Mackay/Whitsunday (sugar producers) (Qld) (22 December 2006)

The Prime Minister told ABC radio listeners today “we are not playing favourites” yet he has treated farmers in some states very differently than in others. • NSW/ACT: 15 EC declared areas extended -14 missed out • Qld: 1EC declared area extended -13 missed out

• Vic: 1EC declared area extended - 8 missed out • SA: 1EC declared area extended - 2 missed out • WA: 0 EC declared areas extended -1 missed out

The Prime Minister should stop playing favourites with drought relief.

Contact Gavan O’Connor on 0418 518 528 Bernie Eades on 0419 664 016