Step Up in Drought Support for Durack
November 8, 2019
Drought affected pastoralists, farmers, small businesses and rural towns are set for an immediate cash injection to keep stock fed and watered, keep businesses open, keep locals in work and pump funds into local economies.
Federal Member for Durack Melissa Price has welcomed the increased support announced by Prime Minister Morrison.
“I know pastoralists and many local communities have been preparing for the coming summer as best they can, but it has been a long time since some of the pastoral regions in Durack have had any significant, consistent rain. The assistance measures announced can help with family, staff and stock welfare throughout this summer and beyond,” Melissa Price said.
“We are stepping up our drought response to meet the increasing needs in Western Australia so that farmers, local government and regional business have access to the necessary assistance,” Ms Price
New measures announced include re-directing $200 million from the Building Better Regions Fund into drought communities and an extra $138.9 million into our Roads to Recovery initiative. This will target local projects and infrastructure work to keep finance flowing, trades in work and money rolling through local business.
Minister for Agriculture Bridget McKenzie said a new loans program for small businesses and making existing drought loans interest free for two years would deliver immediate support for everything from buying fodder to transporting stock and agisting cattle. The Regional Investment Corporation’s mandate sets its interest rate just to cover administration and borrowing costs.
“These loans mean farmers and small business owners can do what they need to, right now at zero cost. Farmers will not have to pay a cent for the next two years and we’ll keep assessing the program if the drought runs longer than that to ensure repayments are affordable,” Minister McKenzie said.
Further information on the support available for drought-affected farms and communities and how to access it is available at http://www.agriculture.gov.au/drought/
Rose Crane 0427 587 395; Rosemea.Crane@aph.gov.au