The Government’s drought recovery advice fund announced today is merely a drop in the bucket for supporting farmers affected by drought, National’s Agriculture spokesperson Todd Muller says.
“The fund is specifically for providing affected farmers with recovery and planning advice, but does not contribute to farmers’ rising feed costs or general business costs.
“Most farmers already know what is needed to help their business recover and it is insulting for the Government to tell them they simply need to seek more advice to get through the drought.
“Meanwhile the Government is continuing to charge full steam ahead on a sheet of policies that will heap further stress and costs onto the primary sector with Freshwater reforms, biodiversity changes and farm planning changes all on the horizon.
“Putting these measures on hold would provide some much needed relief for farmers and ensure they can get on with producing our much-needed export products.
“Farmers want long-term assurance of water storage investment to protect them from future droughts.
“There needs to be a long term strategy that manages and implements our water in a responsible and efficient way. The Coalition Government disbanded Crown Irrigation Investments Ltd and since then the only investment we have seen are small drips from the Provincial Growth Fund.
“Our primary sector is going to be essential to providing stability to our economy and helping us rebuild over the next few years.
“Water storage will be key to ensuring this and National will deliver.”