Minister discusses drought

Federal Member for Lyne Dr David Gillespie has met with federal agriculture minister Barnaby Joyce to discuss a broad range of issues associated with the rural sector including policies aimed at assisting farmers relating to drought.

“Barnaby Joyce is very well aware of the challenges throughout the various parts of our rural sector. The lack of good solid rain over the past few months has seen some parts of his own electorate and the adjoining seat of Parkes look something like that of the moon landing,” Dr Gillespie said.

“As I have travelled around our electorate in recent weeks, particularly in the south and around Gloucester, and to the west into the hinterland, it is quite clear that if we don’t get some decent rain soon this is going to have a significant impact on our local farming sector.”

Dr Gillespie said the farm hardship, rural and drought assistance measures delivered by both State and Federal Governments had been complex in the past and he was keen to see changes in the future.

“While fodder transport, emergency water grant and other subsidies are provided at the State level, I am delighted that the Prime Minister and the Agriculture Minister are moving to bring forward the Federal Farm Household Allowance with a number of important changes aimed at improving eligibility for farmers doing it particularly tough,” Dr Gillespie said.

Dr Gillespie said he would continue to work with his State and Federal colleagues to develop long term assistance measures that respond better to the needs of farmers when future droughts hit.