The Australian Government has so far, committed more than $7.3 billion to drought relief. It’s the biggest drought relief effort in our history.
I’ve told the Parliament that many farmers and communities are struggling with deteriorating drought conditions going into summer. It’s been devastating.
I’ve also made it clear to all Government MPs and the Parliament on many occasions that support needs to be continually ramped up as conditions worsen. Even more help is coming and we are going to need it.
The National Drought Response Plan has three parts:
1. HELPING THOSE AFFECTED RIGHT NOW
First, and most immediately, we’re helping farmers and graziers who are doing it tough, right now.
We’ve helped over 12,000 farming families, with around $100,000 each, paid over four years. That’s not a loan, it doesn’t ever have to be paid back. It’s there to help them get through.
Some other initiatives include:
- Helping farmers do work on their farms right now to deal with the drought, like installing new bores, pipes and weirs through our $50 million commitment in rebates for on-farm emergency water infrastructure.
- Providing generous concessional loans to help farmers prepare for, manage through and recover from drought that can save them up to $60,000 in interest a year.
- Providing tax relief for farmers, with $75 million in taxation measures, including accelerated fodder storage asset depreciation and the Farm Management Deposit Scheme.
- Providing Rural Financial Counselling to help with financial planning, mentoring and coaching.
2. SUPPORTING WIDER COMMUNITIES
We’re supporting those communities that depend on our farmers and are the heart of this country.
- We’ve provided $1 million each to over 120 councils to get local infrastructure projects off the ground. That helps keep businesses going and locals employed.
- Funding local charities, like St Vincent de Paul, the Salvation Army, and the Country Women’s Association to provide local support on the ground, including counselling, with a commitment of around $60 million.
3. BUILDING A MORE DROUGHT RESILIENT AUSTRALIA
We are building a more drought resilient Australia, establishing the $5 billion Future Drought Fund and by putting the infrastructure in place to help us deal with this and future droughts.
- We have 21 water infrastructure projects committed to, or on the go right now, all across the country.
If you’re a farmer or business affected by the drought and in need, for a one-stop shop with all the information about the services and support available, visit www.farmhub.org.au
Otherwise, call the below numbers:
- To get financial assistance: 13 23 16
- To talk to a rural financial counsellor: 1800 686 175
To talk to someone if you’re experiencing stress or anxiety:
- Lifeline Australia - 13 11 14
- beyondblue - 1300 22 46 36
- Mensline Australia - 1300 78 99 78
- Kids Help Line - 1800 55 18 00
- Suicide Callback Service - 1300 659 467
Download a copy of our Drought Summary at the link below: