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Thursday, 25 July 2019
Page: 1037

Mr FITZGIBBON (Hunter) (13:59): After 5½ years and after running out of any other ideas to help our farmers or to support regional communities, last year the government appointed a Select Committee on Regional Development and Decentralisation. It took a year to report but its recommendations have been ignored. Now what have they done? They've appointed another select committee. When will it report? On 30 July 2020 at about the same time the drought fund will start to draw down $100 million to assist our farmers.

Our farmers need support now, Prime Minister. They need help now. A committee, Prime Minister, won't help our farmers now, or indeed in the future, because you've shown in the past that you don't even acknowledge the recommendations of your own parliamentary committee. When are you going to seriously do something for our farmers? It's been six years of this government, Prime Minister, and we're seven years into drought, and all we get from you is spin, spin and more spin. We will continue to promote the cause of our drought-affected farmers. We won't just talk about them; we will take every opportunity to do something for them, but we still stand ready to offer bipartisanship support. Put something forward worthy of support. Put something forward which is actually going to help our drought-affected farmers and our drought-affected communities. (Time expired)

The SPEAKER: In accordance with standing order 43, the time for members' statements has concluded.