State farm organisations welcome $190m Federal drought support package

Pablo Tucker
August 9, 2018

Malcolm Turnbull has dismissed suggestions Australia abandon global emission reduction targets because they won't help struggling farmers deal with the worst drought in years.

Australian farmers hit by a record drought will receive 12,000 Australian dollars (8,880 USA dollars) each as part of the latest relief package for the agricultural sector, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said on Sunday.

"The impacts of climate change will mean that (drought and rain) events could be more extreme but they could be more frequent", she said.

"It's vital that we help farmers and families that are dealing with the stress and pressures drought brings", Simson said in a statement on August 5. "A level that has not changed in the last four years", he said.

Several fundraising campaigns have sprung up around the country to try and help farmers buy food for their livestock.

The first families to get the cash will be those already on an existing modest welfare payment worth up to $295 a week called the Farm Household Allowance (FHA).

The package will also include extra funding for mental health initiatives, with Australian farmers being at a significantly higher risk of depression and suicide than urban dwellers.

She said the additional funds "will provide eligible farmers with a much-needed cash injection".

"There are many, many farmers who at the moment haven't actually made themselves available of the assistance that is there for them, and we urge and encourage them to do just that", Mr McCormack told ABC radio on Tuesday.

"It has been extremely heartening to see Australians rally around our farmers and rural communities during these tough times", he said.

Derek Schoen, who has a property at Corowa, says farmers aren't at the end of the drought, they're in the middle, with no end in sight.

He says every area of farming technology is improving all the time but we do have the problem of a very volatile climate - and it appears to be getting more volatile as time goes by. "We're going through a really tough time, but when we come out of it, it will be important that farmers are set up and ready to take advantage of all the good opportunities that we know are out there", Mr Mahar said.

"The Farm Household Allowance has helped nearly 8000 of Australia's approximately 80,000 farmers over the past four years, as we've invested $230 million", Minister Littleproud said.

The Federal Government says another phase of drought support will be announced in coming weeks.

Other reports by iNewsToday