Australia boosts aid by A$1.8 billion for drought-hit farmers
21 August, 2018, 00:29 | Author: Kelly Sanders
Help has never been more in demand, with the NSW Government declaring 100% of the state is now in drought, and experts predicting that it will be the worst NSW drought in 40 years.
Under the significant funding boost, 60 drought-affected councils on Australia's east coast will be handed one million Australian dollars each to be spent however they see fit on drought relief. The total amount available for loans each year will also be doubled from $250 million to $500 million.
The latest announcement comes two weeks after Mr Turnbull announced the federal government's $190 million relief package, which included extra payments as part of the Farm Household Allowance.
"I want to say to our farmers, we have your back", Turnbull said.
The Liberal-Nationals Government has today announced additional funding for local infrastructure in drought-affected areas, new tax breaks for farmers, the appointment of a National Drought Coordinator and low-interest loans as part of the next phase of our drought response.
"Parts of western and southern Queensland have been in drought for more than six years, which has overwhelmed even the best efforts of many producers to prepare", Mr Guerin said.
The local councils will have access to a pool of $75 million to fund projects, including providing emergency water supplies.
John Farnham, Guy Sebastian and country star Adam Harvey are set to headline "Hay Mate: Buy a Bale - A Concert For The Farmers" in Tamworth on October 27.
Graziers in Forbes, some 390 kilometres (240 miles) west of Sydney, are among those battling the lack of rain.
"Drought has such a big impact on Australian agriculture and extended dry periods are a recurring feature, so we need governments at all levels and politicians on all sides to come together with industry to work on a sustainable approach to managing this issue now and into the future".
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