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More Truss games threaten drought relief.



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KERRY O’BRIEN LABOR SENATOR FOR TASMANIA SHADOW MINISTER FOR PRIMARY INDUSTRIES AND RESOURCES

44 Charles Street, P.O. Box 1193, Launceston TAS 7250 Phone (03) 6334 9366 Fax (03) 6334 9369 Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600 Phone (02) 6277 3842 Fax (02) 6277 3780 Email: senator.obrien@aph.gov.au

22 November 2002

MORE TRUSS GAMES THREATEN DROUGHT RELIEF

Agriculture Minister Warren Truss is threatening to withhold Exceptional Circumstances (EC) payments to drought-stricken farmers unless the states comply with his political demands.

Mr Truss has written to the New South Wales and Queensland Governments demanding information on state drought programs.

This information is irrelevant to the assessment of EC applications, but is a crucial part of Mr Truss’ strategy to avoid his responsibility to drought-stricken farmers.

Yesterday the Minister issued a warning the Howard Government would reject EC applications unless his demands were met.

Once again, Mr Truss is trying to weasel out of his obligations under the EC program.

Australians are sick and tired of Mr Truss’ political games on drought relief.

Last month, the Prime Minister said:

“This is not an issue where the public wants state and federal governments slagging off at each other.”

Clearly, Mr Truss is the only person in the country who doesn’t understand Mr Howard’s message.

It’s time for the Prime Minister to step in and pull Mr Truss into line.

If Mr Truss can’t work with the states to deliver drought relief, the Prime Minister must sack him and appoint someone who can.

For comment: Kerry O’Brien 02 6277 3842 or 0419 007 780 Jack Lake 02 6277 3843 or 0427 773 842