States need to step up on drought

The Hon David Littleproud MP
Minister for Water Resources, Drought, Rural Finance, Natural Disaster and Emergency Management

Minister for Drought David Littleproud is calling on all states to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with their farmers and regional communities, who have been facing the worst drought on record.

“All state governments have to pull their weight,” Minister Littleproud said.

“The Federal Government is providing up to $224,000 a year in support to farmers and we all have a part to play.

“The amount of state support available varies wildly, depending on where you live.

“NSW gives more than any other state at the moment with up to $69,175 per farmer a year.

“On the other hand WA provides no direct drought support and that needs to change.

“In Queensland a farmer can access $39,129 in direct support, in Victoria $25,235.

“South Australia is reviewing its level of support – something every state should do.

“The states should step in and pay council rates for farmers in drought.

“They should also give farmers crown lease holidays – it’s just not fair to charge rent on unproductive land.

“They can also give payroll tax exemptions to businesses dependent on agriculture, like the local meat works, because their drought is coming as soon as it rains.

“The states also own our power companies and can offer famers a discounted rate through a food and fibre tariff.

“Agriculture is a strategically important industry and we all need to work together to bring farmers through the drought.

“This is bigger than any one person, or any one government – we all need to play as one team.

“We’ve stepped up our response as the drought has stepped up – we need the states to join us.

“I’m committed to working with the states so all our farmers get the support they need, no matter where they live.”

Maximum potential direct drought support by government per year: Federal: $224,000; NSW: $69,175; Queensland: $39,129; Victoria: $25,235; Tasmania: $7,500; South Australia: $0*; Western Australia: $0; Northern Territory: $0.

*South Australia is currently reviewing its state support package.

/Public Release. View in full here.