Drought Relief Extended Statewide

Liberal Tasmania
  • Jeremy Rockliff Premier, Minister for State Development, Trade and the Antarctic, Minister for Tourism and Hospitality, Minister for Mental Health and Wellbeing, Member for Braddon
  • Jo Palmer Minister for Primary Industries and Water, Minister for Community Services and Development, Minister for Disability Services, Minister for Women and the Prevention of Family Violence, Liberal Member for Rosevears
  • Premier Jeremy Rockliff has announced that emergency drought relief will be extended statewide across Tasmania.

    “Over the past five weeks, I have travelled extensively across the State, meeting with community members and farmers, and it is clear that many areas of Tasmania are experiencing unseasonably dry conditions,” the Premier said.

    “Several weeks ago I announced hardship grants would be available to farmers on both King and Flinders Islands as a result of unseasonably dry conditions and costs associated with transportation.

    “Today, I am announcing that we will extend hardship grants to the whole State. Grants of up to $5,000 will be available to livestock producers who can demonstrate hardship as a result of increased feed costs, reduction in the value of livestock, recovery costs of pasture, restocking, and other farm expenditure caused by the unseasonably dry conditions.

    “The Government will also provide a grant to the Rural Relief Fund of $500,000 for them to administer grants of up to $2,500 per household. This funding will be available more broadly across agricultural sectors, for rural families experiencing hardship due to drought or extreme unseasonably dry conditions.

    “Our farmers are the backbone of Tasmania’s economy, and we will do everything we can to support them through this difficult period.”

    Minister for Primary Industries and Water, Jo Palmer, said that some parts of Tasmania had had the lowest February rainfall on record, following on from a very dry summer.

    “The rainfall for February was below average for most of Tasmania and very much below average in a band stretching from the North West to the South East,” Minister Palmer said.

    “Some parts of the East and North had less than 20 per cent of their typical February rainfall totals. The rainfall total for Tasmania as a whole was 54 per cent below the February average (based on 1961-1990), making it the 11th lowest in 125 years of data, and the lowest since 2003.

    “The Standardised Projection Index for King Island over the 12, 6 and 3 months shows the lowest rainfall since 1970. When taking into account meteorological plus a range of socio-economic indicators, King Island and Flinders Island can be considered in an agricultural drought, with other parts of mainland Tasmania transitioning from ‘Preparing’ to ‘Emerging into Drought’ conditions.

    “Guidelines for hardship grants will be made available on the Department of State Growth’s website in the next week or so.

    “I wish to reassure Tasmania’s farmers – we have your back.”

    /Public Release. View in full here.