National Farmers' Federation

Boost for drought relief required, says NFF

Prolonged drought is a tough reality facing many Australian farmers – prompting a call by the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) to boost drought assistance measures announced by the Federal Government earlier this year.
“We have been working with our Members to develop an updated drought assistance package in response to the hottest spring on record and deteriorating seasonal conditions across Australia,” NFF President Brent Finlay said.
“At the start of the year, the NFF called on the Federal Government to deliver a range of measures to assist drought-affected farmers, their families and communities.
“And while it was pleasing to see government deliver a short-term drought relief package, there’s now more to be done particularly given the rising debt levels in certain regions.
“Specifically, we are seeking lower interest loans with longer terms; reduced paperwork for Farm Household Allowance; certainty of funding for the Rural Financial Counsellors; and additional funding for water infrastructure and pest animal control.
“These measures will not only assist farmers while in drought, but will help them recover and quickly ramp up production when the rains do come.
“In the current environment, a small level of government assistance for many otherwise solid, profitable businesses would ensure they can respond quickly and effectively once seasons turn around in their favour.
“Beyond this, long-term drought policy is still missing in action. We need a drought policy framework that focuses on preparedness but also recognises that in-event and recovery support is sometimes needed,” Mr Finlay said.

Add comment