Future Drought Fund legislation gets bi-partisan support

Sheep Central, July 24, 2019

AUSTRALIA’S National Farmers Federation has welcomed the bi-partisan support for the $100 million a year Future Drought Fund in the House of Representatives on Monday.

NFF President Fiona Simson praised the Labor Party, under the leadership of the Australian Labor party’s Anthony Albanese, for supporting the enabling legislation in the House of Representatives last night.

“Support for farmers to manage drought into the future deserves bipartisan support and that’s exactly what we have seen.

“Last night agriculture and the many regional communities that depend on a strong farm sector were prioritised by the Australian Parliament,” Ms Simson said.

“The benefit of this to farmers can’t be understated, as many remain in the grips of one of the worst droughts in living memory.”

Minister for Water Resources, Drought, Rural Finance, Natural Disaster and Emergency Management David Littleproud said the passing of the Drought Future Fund legislation was a key election promise and a great victory for the Coalition Government.

“We hope this bill now passes quickly through the Senate so we can get on with the job of delivering the fund.

“There’s much work to do before 1 July 2020, including consultation,” he said.

“The $5 billion fund will ensure $100 million a year in perpetuity towards drought resilience and preparedness.”

Ms Simson said the Future Drought Fund, was a forward-focussed investment aimed at providing farmers the tools and resources they needed to equip themselves to manage droughts in the years ahead.

The fund will provide $100 million a year from 2020 to fund initiatives that improve drought resilience, preparedness and recovery.

The NFF is pleased the legislation included a requirement to establish a consultative committee – an outcome the NFF sought in its submission to the Senate Finance and Public Administration Legislation Committee Inquiry.

“A committee that includes strong farmer representation to direct the application of the Future Drought Fund investment is crucial to ensure money is spent where it will have the most impact on building long-term drought resilience.

“We look forward to the Future Drought Fund legislation receiving the same bipartisan support in the Senate,” Ms Simson said.


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