Daily Management Review

$5 Bn Drought Fund Announced By Australian Govt


$5 Bn Drought Fund Announced By Australian Govt
Australia is being planned to be made drought proof and the Australian government has apportioned 7 billion Australian dollars (4.9 billion U.S. dollars) for this purpose.
The announcement was made after a National Drought Summit which was attended by more than 100 farmer representatives and the Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Deputy Prime Minister Andrew McCormack. The country is going through a severe drought that has hit farmers very hard in the east coast of the country. .
At the meeting, Morrison announced the formation of a Future Drought Fund worth 5-billion-Australian dollar (3.5-billion-U.S. dollar) which would put "money aside for non-rainy days in the future."
An additional 3.9 billion Australian dollars would be added to the fund by the government which would make the fund worth a total of 5 Australian billion by 2028.
The new drought resistance plan envisions making available 100 million Australian dollars every year to all future governments starting 2020 and beyond so that they can invest in local projects, infrastructure and research to support "long-term sustainability."
"Our response to the drought has to be the same: deal with the here and now, but also make sure we plan for the future," Morrison said at the meeting.
"That's what the Future Drought Fund is all about. Putting money aside for non-rainy days in the future."
"It guarantees drought support for the men and women who drive our nation. The challenges of drought vary from farm to farm, district to district, town to town and we continually need to adapt and build capacity - the Future Drought Fund gives us this opportunity."
There would was an extension of the "Drought Communities Program" which is a program that allows funding to local councils up to 1 million Australian dollars each for infrastructure projects, Morrison announced in addition to the landmark fund.
"We have listened to farmers, their communities and their representatives in responding in this way," he said.
The government also announced 15 million Australian dollars for supporting rural mental health services and an additional 30 million Australian dollars to charities that support farmers. 
100 per cent of New South Wales (NSW) was declared to be in drought by the Department of Primary Industries of the state in August while drought has prevailed for over a decade in parts of Queensland.
The measures to fight drought as announced by Morrison were not enough to lend immediate support to farmers, said Annastacia Palaszczuk, the premier of Queensland.
"The farmers are hurting now, people are doing it tough," she told reporters in Canberra. "There needs to be some more up-front money to help those who are doing it tough."