Premier calls on Prime Minister to let drought fund flow

The Premier has urged the Federal Government to stop wasting time and get the money earmarked for our drought affected communities “out the door”.

Addressing the media today, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said with two-thirds of the state drought-declared, the time for federal government action is now.

“Drought is having a huge impact across our state and we know our communities are hurting,” the Premier said.

“That’s 66.1 per cent suffering significant lack of rainfall across central, southern and south east Queensland.

“Agonizingly, some areas are into their seventh year living with these dreadful conditions, and still it won’t rain.

“On a state level, we’re giving our drought-affected communities assistance where we can to help them get through these tough times.

“Since 2013 the Queensland Government has given $680 million to help drought-afflicted communities. In this year’s budget we committed an additional $74.6 million over four years towards the Drought Assistance Package.

“But as more time goes on without the prospect of significant rainfall – more and more communities start to suffer.”

The Premier said she had written to the Prime Minister urging him to let the money from the $5 billion Future Drought Fund get to where it’s needed now.

“These are funds that are just sitting there,” the Premier said.

“What I’ll say to the federal government is no more time for consultation, let’s get that money out the door.”

“Queensland farmers are telling me that further support is needed now for drought resilience, preparedness and recovery and to prepare for future drought conditions.

“My government is acting to ensure that regional households do not run out of water in Stanthorpe with Storm King Dam reaching critical levels.

“The Queensland Government has acted to provide a further commitment to Emu Swamp Dam.

“The Federal Government needs to do more now to help save jobs in regional communities and provide more immediate support for drought impacted primary producers and regional tourism operators.”

/Public Release. View in full here.