AgForce has commended the Federal Government’s creation of the Drought Future Fund as “progressive” and “the right path to better drought management” for its emphasis on preparedness and risk management rather than the traditional crisis response.
CEO Michael Guerin also praised the Federal Opposition for their bipartisan approach to this important initiative.
“With two thirds of Queensland now drought declared, and some regions well into their eighth year without decent rains, the need for a consistent bipartisan approach to drought management has never been more acute,” Mr Guerin said.
“AgForce has developed and been advocating a proactive ‘business cycle approach’ that recognises drought as an inevitable feature of farming in Australia that could be prepared for and mitigated against, if not fully managed.
“Across Australia, drought has a multi-billion-dollar impact on farm productivity and profitability, not to mention the social and environmental hardships.
“The Fund is a fiscally responsible way to provide a secure, ‘year in year out’ revenue stream for funding initiatives that enhance future drought resilience, preparedness and responses.
“Primary producers will have better and more reliable access to information, tools and other supports to build their resilience to drought and minimise its impacts on their businesses and their families.
“These measures will ensure Australian agriculture can continue to progressively grow towards its 2030 $100 billion farmgate value target.”
Mr Guerin said the measure was in the same vein as changes recently proposed by the State Government to its drought policy, also consistent with the ‘business cycle’ approach AgForce had been briefing them on for some time.
“It is very pleasing that both levels of government appear to be generally on the same page when it comes to managing drought, which provides long-term confidence to industry to plan and invest,” he said.
“We also commend the commitment of both Federal and State Governments to industry engagement and input.
“The Federal Government’s creation of a Consultative Committee to ensure primary industries have a central role in refining and implementing the Drought Future Fund and guiding the initiatives it supports, will be critical to its success .”