A peak body representing Australian agriculture believes the additional drought support measures announced by the Government last year aimed to cater to all drought affected farmers.
The National Farmers Federation (NFF) Trade and Economics general manager Pru Gordon said the organisation welcomed the high level drought support by the Federal Government in 2018, but encouraged Commonwealth, State and Territory governments to commit to developing a national drought policy.
“An all-of-government policy is needed to provide farmers with certainty as to available drought programs,” Ms Gordon said.
“The policy should identify and set explicit triggers for drought programs and establish effective coordination and program assessment mechanisms.”
She said the the policy should support multiple risk management tools, including insurance products, that enable farmers to prepare for, manage and recover from drought.
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“It should also support the drought resilience of farmers and regional communities via broader policies including road rules, infrastructure and regenerative agriculture programs,” Ms Gordon said.
Ms Gordon said the outcomes announced at the Prime Minister’s National Drought Summit last year, including the Future Drought Fund, and additional funding for local governments, mental health services and water infrastructure programs, will contribute to national drought resilience.
“These measures came on top of the Government’s earlier changes to the Farm Household Allowance program, valuable work with the banks to create more supportive farm finance products, and additional support for the Rural Financial Counselling Service,” she said.