Cash help for farmers won't stop: minister
Drought Minister David Littleproud has promised no farmer will be kicked off a federal government payment after its four-year time limit expires.
The Farm Household Allowance is one of the key measures the Morrison government is using to help drought-stricken farmers.
Earlier in the month, the government announced lump sum payments of $13,000 for couples and $7500 for farmers who reach the end of four years on the allowance.
But Mr Littleproud appeared to make a further guarantee on the ABC's Q&A; program on Monday night.
"I'm prepared to make it quite clear, right here tonight, that this government will not be taking those off those supplementary payments," he said.
He said if the drought continued to bite around budget time next year, the government could extend assistance through the allowance.
"The prime minister made it clear that no-one, no-one will come off these payments," the Nationals MP said.
Mr Littleproud said Scott Morrison couldn't "run away from it" because he made the same declaration in parliament.
"We will continue to make the supplementary payments up until June next year and in May next year we'll have to make another decision if it hasn't rained," the minister said.
The Farm Household Allowance, a fortnightly cash payment in line with Newstart, is designed to help farmers in financial hardship.
Labor claims 600 families have been kicked off the payment after reaching the four-year expiry, with another 500 set to lose the allowance by Christmas.
Mr Morrison said the government was continuing to listen to producers and communities suffering with drought.
"You don't stop listening and working on the next set of measures, you keep listening," he told Sky News.
"We're going to keep announcing more measures soon, too."
Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said it was unfortunate a backbench proposal led by Barnaby Joyce for a $1.3 billion assistance package had leaked from the Nationals party room.
He said the party's five senators were absent from last week's meeting, which coincided with Senate estimates, along with one lower house MP.
"There was no vote taken on any proposal to take forward to government," Mr McCormack said.
Mr Littleproud's office has been contacted for comment.