Drought suffering farmers get Federal support

Drought suffering farmers get Federal support

Australia on Sunday announced a A$190 million ($140.56 million) aid package for drought-afflicted farmers as much of east coast suffers the worst dry spell in living memory.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull comforting charity worker Edwina Robertson in the town of Trangie, west of Dubbo, during his visit to drought stricken areas of regional NSW. "We actually need major rain across the eastern seaboard", he told reporters in Canberra on Monday.

Drought affected farmers have a mixed reaction to the Federal Government's emergency relief package with some welcoming it and others saying it's not enough and too hard to access.

Announcing the additional funding from a farm in the state, Mr Turnbull said: "Now we are the land of droughts and flooding rains, we recognise that".

Yesterday, another $190 million was handed out to farmers in a major, and heavily promoted, drought relief announcement, bringing total drought relief programs now on foot - including profoundly wasteful subsidised loan programs - to $576 million. The NSW government has also given more than A$1 billion in assistance.

The Turnbull government will be giving out lump-sum payments through the Farm Household Allowance.

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The prime minister has flagged more government support if the drought continues to pile pressure on farmers. We admire their courage and we stand with them.

"Australian farmers are not helpless".

LOOK, any help during what is the worst drought in NSW in more than a half-century is better than a kick in the face from a cow.

Under the most recent changes, households eligible for the FHA - a fortnightly payment totalling around $16,000 a year to help farming families in tough times - will receive two additional lump sum payments on 1 September 2018 and 1 March 2019.

The extra funding for the Rural Financial Counselling Service was also very welcome, Mr Maudsley said, and AgForce urged farmers to use the service and seek advice on how to apply for the Farm Household Allowance.

"(But) we haven't got the same urban or town water shortage challenges we had in the millennium drought", he told the ABC.

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