THE DEPUTY Prime Minister and leader of the Nationals Michael McCormack has urged drought stricken farmers across the country to be in dialogue with the Federal Government regarding drought assistance.
“Let us know what the issues are and what you think would be the best way for government to help,” Mr McCormack said.
Speaking at the opening of Grain Growers’ Innovation Generation conference for young farmers in his home town of Wagga Wagga Mr McCormack said the government was working hard to assist farmers doing it tough.
“We’ve extended Farm Household Allowance assistance for another year, the Minister for Agriculture and Water has worked to tweak the criteria to allow farmers to fill out forms for things such as drought and water infrastructure assistance easier and with less bureaucracy.”
“This came about as a result of farmers telling us they were struggling to get access to the financial support they needed.”
On a day where Mr McCormack’s colleague, agriculture minister David Littleproud said there would be no further interest rate subsidies brought in as a result of the big dry, Mr McCormack said the government was doing its bit to support farmers.
“We have put millions of dollars on the table for rural finance counseling and mental health counseling.”
Mr McCormack said the drought was causing huge hardship across large swathes of eastern Australia.
“In the Maranoa electorate some regions are experiencing the compound impacts of seven years of drought, while in the Parkes electorate, some farmers are experiencing their third year of drought out of four.”
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