Opening remarks, Drought Summit

PRIME MINISTER: Colleagues, it’s a bit old school today in the Old Parliament House, and it gives us a good opportunity Andrew to use one of the great buildings of the nation’s capital, because drought was something that this building was used to dealing with as well, it’s not something new to any of our jurisdictions and of course at a Commonwealth level.

Australia and Australian leaders at a state and territory level and national level have been dealing with drought ever since the Commonwealth was formed and prior to that in each of those jurisdictions and I think today is a great opportunity for us to get together to swap notes and make sure we are all on the same page I think what is particularly encouraging about how we’ve all been working on this issue of drought recovery, drought relief, drought resilience into the future is I think all the politics has been left outside the room because we all just want to do the right thing by our rural communities, our farming communities whether they are on the farms or in the towns and I want to thank all of the leaders, all of the leaders and Gladys in her absence, her plane has been delayed this morning, for the way we have been able to work and engage together and particularly the way our departments and officials and agencies have been working together and in New South Wales and Queensland it’s been the most ferocious as we know Dan, its coming in vision, its coming into South Australia and even we were saying last night Will, on the east coast of Tassie things are drying up a bit there and so we need to be working right across the country while it may be that the states that are most severely affected right now aren’t in the west, it can be affecting west in the future, today is a good opportunity to get on the same page and get on with it. It’s great.

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