The National Farmers’ Federation has heralded the passing of the Future Drought Fund and the ushering in of a new era in drought preparedness support for farmers.
NFF President Fiona Simson praised the Labor Party, under the leadership of Anthony Albanese, for supporting the enabling legislation in the House of Representatives last night.
“Support for farmers to manage drought into the future deserves bipartisan support and that’s exactly what we have seen,” Ms Simson said.
“Last night agriculture and the many regional communities that depend on a strong farm sector were prioritised by the Australian Parliament.
“The benefit of this to farmers can’t be understated, as many remain in the grips of one of the worst droughts in living memory.”
Ms Simson said as the name suggested, the Future Drought Fund, was a forward-focussed investment aimed at providing farmers the tools and resources they needed to equip themselves to manage droughts in the years ahead.
The Fund will provide $100 million a year from 2020 to fund initiatives that improve drought resilience, preparedness and recovery.
The NFF is pleased the legislation includes a requirement to establish a Consultative Committee – an outcome the NFF sought in its submission to the Senate Finance and Public Administration Legislation Committee Inquiry.
“A Committee that includes strong farmer representation to direct the application of the Future Drought Fund investment is crucial to ensure money is spent where it will have the most impact on building long-term drought resilience.
“We look forward to the Future Drought Fund legislation receiving the same bipartisan support in the Senate,” Ms Simson said.