Statement on drought funding
Statement provided to the NewsMail on 03-12-19 in response to questions about the Drought Communities Program and drought funding:
“I know that growers in our region are doing it tough right now. On top of the drought, we’ve had bushfires and water sent out to sea from Paradise Dam.
“There are a range of support measures and help available to farmers, including the Farm Household Allowance, concessional loans, as well as the newly announced small business loans and improved drought loans. I encourage those affected to seek advice and utilise the help that is available, please don’t self-assess.
“I have approached the Deputy Prime Minister directly about the Drought Communities Program and its eligibility criteria.
“I have also lobbied the Minister for Drought to have a more accurate reflection of our employment statistics included in the review of drought declarations. This review is underway now and expected to be completed by January 2020, which I advised the Mayor of two weeks ago.
“Council’s which have been drought declared by their relevant state government are eligible to apply for round 4 of Building Better Regions Fund and I would, of course, welcome any additional funding to help our farmers in this time of need.
“The Coalition Government has invested significantly in the Hinkler Regional Deal, with $173 million for projects right across the electorate, which will deliver important infrastructure and help strengthen the local economy.”