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Truss gives drought aid to Melbourne suburbs.



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

11 December 2002

TRUSS GIVES DROUGHT AID TO MELBOURNE SUBURBS

The Howard Government’s new drought package delivers drought assistance to people living in suburban Melbourne but ignores most drought-stricken farmers.

Mr Truss has approved drought assistance for residents of Preston, Frankston and Knox local government areas, but denied assistance to farmers living in hundreds of rural shires across the country.

One of the areas declared eligible for Commonwealth drought assistance is the City of Darebin.

This Melbourne council has 120,000 residents and 55,000 properties.

Darebin is located within walking distance of the Melbourne CBD and includes the inner city suburbs of Alphington, Fairfield and Northcote.

Residents of Darebin - and the other Melbourne councils on the Minister’s list - can turn on the tap when their pot plants get too dry.

The same option is not available to farmers in North West Victoria and Central Queensland trying to keep their crops irrigated and their breeding stock alive.

Yet these farmers have been excluded from the Government’s drought assistance.

This latest fiasco is another example of Mr Truss’ inability to manage his portfolio responsibilities.

Contact Senator O’Brien’s office for a list of areas qualifying for assistance as identified by Warren Truss’s media statement AFFA02/353WT.

For Comment: Kerry O’Brien 02 6277 3842 or 0419 007 780

Jack Lake 02 6277 3843 or 0427 773 842

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