AgForce has welcomed the extension of the Farm Household Allowance to provide additional short term relief for drought-affected farmers and is eager to work with the Federal and State Governments on an enduring, long-term drought policy.
AgForce General President Grant Maudsley said the extension of the Farm Household Allowance from three to four years would help eligible farmers who have had little or no income to continue to put food on the table and meet essential household expenses.
“The prolonged and severe nature of the drought has taken an enormous financial, emotional and environmental toll on many regional Queensland communities over the past seven years, and overwhelmed even the best efforts of many producers to prepare,” he said.
“This announcement will provide some immediate, short term additional relief to assist primary producers who have exhausted their eligibility during this tough time.
“AgForce appreciated the opportunity to meet with the Prime Minister and other senior government representatives in western Queensland, and are pleased to see that visit has been followed up with this announcement and with more likely in coming weeks.”
Mr Maudsley said AgForce looked forward to taking part in a drought roundtable to develop an enduring policy and long term strategy focussed on preparedness, support during drought and assistance to enable rapid recovery.
“AgForce has proposed an ‘Agricultural Business Cycle’ approach to drought policy which aims to move industry and governments from focussing on responding in crisis to supporting and empowering producers to better manage climate risks,” he said.
“Drought has such a big impact on Australian agriculture and extended dry periods are a recurring feature so we need governments at all levels and politicians on all sides to come together with industry to work on an effective and sustainable approach to managing this issue into the future.”