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On-line tool to streamline drought assistance.



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DAFF06/102PM - 23 July 2006

On-line tool to streamline drought assistance

Making an application for drought assistance will become easier through a website containing climatic and production information for Australian agriculture.

Australian Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Peter McGauran, and the Queensland Minister for Primary Industries and Fisheries, Tim Mulherin, today launched the operational version of the National Agricultural Monitoring System (NAMS) website, which will streamline drought assistance Exceptional Circumstances processes.

Mr McGauran said that up-to-date climatic and production information, including rainfall and pasture analyses for over 600 regions, can be obtained at the click of a button on the NAMS website.

“Users can quickly and easily generate reports for dryland and broadacre industries, at national, state/territory and regional levels”.

The NAMS ‘live pilot’ has been available to users since April. During this time, valuable feedback has been provided to allow fine tuning of the website during its final development stages.

Minister Mulherin said this tool provides about 80 percent of the information required from applicants.

“Previously it could take several weeks to prepare an application and this process could be costly,” he said.

“This is especially important to Queensland given our size and climate variations”.

Mr McGauran said that all Australian, State, and Territory governments recognised the severe impact of drought, and that the NAMS has been created successfully as a result of collaboration between governments, industry, and the scientific community.

Expansion of the NAMS to encompass additional industries will be explored this financial year.

The National Agricultural Monitoring System has been developed by the Bureau of Rural Sciences and can be viewed at www.nams.gov.au

More information: Kylie Paulsen, BRS Communications Manager, 0438 630 491.

Further media inquiries:

Minister McGaurans' office: Russ Neal 02 6277 7520