Coalition delivers election promise as Future Drought Fund becomes reality
Friday, 26 July 2019
Farmers across Toowoomba and the Darling Downs stand to benefit from projects funded by the Coalition’s Future Drought Fund, which passed the Parliament this week.
Federal Member for Groom John McVeigh said the Coalition had delivered on its election promise.
“The Future Drought Fund will deliver $100 million in investment into drought preparedness and resilience projects every year, starting next July,” Dr McVeigh said.
“This could include funding for climate adaptation, extension work, or region-wide projects such as pest and weed control.
“The farmers and businesses in Toowoomba and the Darling Downs know how hard this drought has been. I myself have visited a range of producers in the region including dairy, beef and broadacre farmers and seen how difficult this drought is.
“We promised to do this to support our farmers for future droughts as well as this one, and we’ve delivered.
“The $5 billion Future Drought Fund means $100 million every year will be invested in drought resilience and preparedness. This is on top of the $1.9 billion we’ve already invested in Farm Household Allowance, Rural Financial Counselling, mental health funding, low interest loans and more. Obviously, freight, fodder and rates subsidies are the responsibility of state governments.”
Minister for Drought and Rural Finance David Littleproud said a consultative committee would soon be formed to decide how the $100 million was invested, as per the legislation.
“We’re going to actually consult with the people we’re elected to serve on how this investment should be spent – what a crazy idea,” Minister Littleproud said.
“Australian drought policy now has a centrepiece and a guaranteed investment of $100 million a year that no Minister can take away.
“Opposing this Bill as Labor did before the election was one of the lowest acts in political history. Labor politicised the misery of farmers in drought. We’re proud to deliver for our farmers and rural and regional Australia.”