National Farmers' Federation

NFF drought relief package

Recognising the current drought gripping much of Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia and the Northern Territory, the NFF is seeking appropriate assistance measures from the Federal Government.
The delivery of the measures canvassed below would be consistent with the processes agreed for in drought support in the Intergovernmental Agreement on National Drought Program Reform, which allows governments to tailor the type or level of support provided to farmers and/or rural communities as seasonal conditions change.
Given the severity of the current drought, a comprehensive package of targeted measures is needed immediately. The package includes changes to existing measures to address growing demand, as well as new measures to address identified needs.
The following amendments are required to existing measures so an effective program can be delivered:
* Improved access to farm household income support
* Improving farm finance low interest loans for greater interest cost relief
* Expanding water infrastructure grants
* Updating Farm Management Deposits (FMDs)
* Improving coordination of social services, and
* Better communication of available assistance.
a suite of further new measures is also required to target specific needs of farm families, their businesses and rural communities. These measures include:
* Providing farm-labour wage assistance
* Improving social and community outcomes
* Implementing a farm advisory grant to help farmers obtain professional advice
* Improving measures for pest animal and weed management, and
* Developing a forward work program for the National Rural Advisory Council (NRAC).

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