AgForce Queensland has welcomed additional Federal Government financial support announced today to help drought-affected farming families put food on the table and meet essential household expenses.
AgForce General President Grant Maudsley said more than half of Queensland was still drought declared and the prolonged nature of the drought in the state was taking an enormous financial, emotional and environmental toll on many regional communities.
"Parts of western and southern Queensland have been in drought for more than six years, which has overwhelmed even the best efforts of producers to prepare," he said.
"These emergency cash payments will help those farmers who have had little or no income, while the changes to the asset cap will ensure more farmers are eligible for assistance.
"AgForce has been advocating for many years for the asset threshold to be lifted so this announcement today will make a big difference to many drought-affected farming families.
"The extra funding for the Rural Financial Counselling Service is also very welcome, and we urge farmers to use this service and seek advice on how to apply for the Farm Household Allowance."
Mr Maudsley also thanked all the private sector organisations, charities, media outlets and individuals who had been and continued to provide support for drought-affected communities.
"It has been extremely heartening to see Australians rally around our farmers and rural communities during these tough times," he said.
Mr Maudsley said AgForce would continue to advocate for further measures to provide relief to drought affected communities including investment in capital works projects, council rates and land rent rebates, and increased education support for children from remote areas.
"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 a sustainable approach to managing this issue now and into the future," he said.
More details about AgForce's proposed 'Agricultural Business Cycle' approach to drought policy is available at www.agforceqld.org.au under 'Advocacy and Policy'.