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Supporting our farmers in times of drought



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Senator the Hon. Bridget McKenzie Deputy Leader of The Nationals Minister for Regional Services Minister for Sport Minister for Local Government and Decentralisation

Senator for Victoria

MEDIA RELEASE

Supporting our farmers in times of drought

26 October 2018

The Liberal National government will provide $30 million to key charities to provide support to at least 10,000 households facing hardship to help them get through the tough times caused by one of the worst droughts on record.

Deputy Leader of the Nationals and Federal Minister for Regional Services Senator Bridget McKenzie said that the financial support is a practical step that will relieve some of the stress and worry from farmers desperately trying to meet their expenses and keep their heads above water.

“The injection of funds will help ensure that small businesses remain resilient against the drought and will continue to underpin regional economies,” Minister McKenzie said.

“As Australians, we understand that when times are tough for a particular community or sector, we rally around them to make sure they are ok. The farming community is no different and they know that all it takes is a bit of support now to help them through the drought.

“Regional Australians represent all the best values of hard work, independence and ingenuity and this investment will support them until the drought breaks.

“With regional Australia accounting for around two-thirds of our exports and employing hundreds of thousands of Australians, supporting these communities now is a small price to pay to ensure we keep the economy growing.”

Support to farming households will be capped at up to $3,000 per household to spend in their local communities and cash to cover urgent bills such as food, petrol and utilities that will help keep the local economy

“There are a number of major community and not-for-profit organisations already delivering much needed support to farmers, their families and communities.

We will continue to work with organisations such as the Country Women’s Association, the Salvation Army, St Vincent de Paul Society and Rotary Austalia World Community Services to deliver the initiative, ensuring that funding hits the ground quickly in the areas it is most needed,” Minister McKenzie said.

“As the Deputy Leader of the Nationals, I have worked very closely with our Leader Michael McCormack to raise awareness of the incredible challenges the drought has posed in regional Australia.

“The response today from the Prime Minister reflects just how seriously the Liberal National government takes the ongoing success of our regional communities. We want these communities to succeed because it will help keep the economy strong, create jobs in our regions and support local communities.”

Payments will form part of the Government’s recently extended Drought Communities Programme.

Today’s announcement builds further on the more than $5 billion in additional Australian Government drought support measures already delivered.

Further information on the payments and how to access them will be made available on the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities website.

ENDS

Media Contact: Jonathan Hawkes I 0434 660 801 I Jonathan.Hawkes@health.gov.au Alex Hall | 0407 743 752 | Alexandra.Hall@health.gov.au