New drought support package for farming community
On 8 May 2015, the Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss announced a new $333 million package for drought assistance.
Referencing the recommendations from the Agricultural White Paper, the new support program is targeted to help communities in the QLD’s south-west and also north-west NSW, who are dealing with the ongoing compound impacts of drought.
The program includes specific targeted projects, as well as additional funds being made available for concessional loans:
- $35m for “shovel ready” projects led by local councils to stimulate economic activity in drought-hit regions
- $25.8m for wild dog and pest management programs
- $20m to expand existing mental health and community support program
- $1.8m for rural financial counselling services
- $250m will be provided in 2015–16 to continue access to existing drought specific concessional loans schemes.