'Drought is everyone's responsibility': Govt looks to future
THOSE on the frontline of drought strategies for Australia are moving towards resilience rather than reliance.
Drought Minister David Littleproud welcomed the constructive talks at the third drought roundtable meeting, held recently.
"Farmers around the country are experiencing conditions they've never seen before,” Mr Littleproud said.
"Drought is everyone's responsibility and the Federal Government and states all have to do their fair share.”
The government agreed to review current programs, leveraging the $5 Billion Future Drought Fund and the work of Major Stephen General Day, the Federal Co-ordinator-General for Drought, to establish a strategy that looked to the future.
"It re-enforced my call on states to not only look to pay councils for the rates of small businesses and farmers in drought-affected areas, but also introduce a food and fibre tariff for farmers and businesses that reduced one of their biggest financial burdens,” Mr Littleproud said.
He welcomed constructive talks with the National Farmers' Federation and state bodies to improve resilience and preparedness through a nationally consistent strategy.
Mr Littleproud said the government needed to be honest about the drought situation and continue to build on the work of Major General Day.
"The Coalition Government will continue to stand with Australian farmers, the small businesses who support them and the communities they live in, but this provides us a once-in-a-generation opportunity to set a drought policy for generations to come,” Mr Littleproud said.