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Community Based Scheme For Rural Development in Central Queensland's desert uplands announced by ministers



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Joint Media Statement

John Anderson MP

Federal Minister for Primary Industries and Energy

David Hamill MLA Queensland Treasurer

COMMUNITY BASED SCHEME FOR RURAL DEVELOPMENT IN CENTRAL QUEENSLAND'S DESERT UPLANDS ANNOUNCED BY MINISTERS

Landholders in the Desert Uplands region of Queensland will receive $4 million in funding from the Federal and State Governments for interest and lease rental subsidies to help them improve their properties and secure the viability of their businesses.

The announcement was made in Barcaldine today at the launch of the Desert Uplands Community Scheme developed by the community-based Desert Uplands Build-Up and Development Strategy Committee in consultation with the two Governments.

The Federal Minister for Primary Industries and Energy, John Anderson, and the Queensland Treasurer, David Hamill, said the funding would allow the local community to address pressing structural adjustment issues identified in the strategy.

"The funding will enable landholders in the Desert Uplands region to address economic and resource management issues that are impacting on the long term viability and sustainability of the region," Mr Anderson said.

"The Desert Uplands Community Scheme is one of the strategic initiatives of the Government's 'Agriculture - Advancing Australia' package which aims to assist farmers to meet the challenges facing rural Australia and take advantage of emerging opportunities.

"The Agriculture - Advancing Australia package is a key element of the Government's strategy to secure the competitiveness, sustainability and profitability of the rural sector."

Mr Hamill said the Scheme provided landholders in the Desert Uplands region with opportunities to address a number of the significant issues impacting on the region.

"The Desert Uplands region has experienced a range of difficulties over recent years including high levels of debt, land degradation and various of social issues." Mr Hamill said.

"The funding provided will assist landholders to address these difficulties and work towards a more viable and productive future."

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Measures available to landholders through the Scheme include assistance to encourage landholders to improve the productivity and long term viability of their farm business enterprises.

"We congratulate the Desert Uplands community and members of the Desert Uplands Build-Up and Development Strategy Committee for their significant efforts in developing a strategic approach to development in the Desert Uplands region," the Ministers said.

"In particular we would like to acknowledge the efforts of the Chairman of the Committee, Mrs Lesley Marshall, who has worked tirelessly to deliver this strategy for the Desert Uplands community."

The Desert Uplands Build-Up and Development Strategy Committee will continue to work with both State and Federal governments to implement the Scheme in line with the emerging needs of the region.

26 August 1998

Media contacts:

Mr Anderson's Office: Robert Haynes (02) 6277 7520 or (0419) 493511 Mr HamilTs Office: Paul Syvret (07) 3224 4379