Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce appears to have ruled out any further drought assistance or any adjustment to improve the current schemes.

Speaking on the ABC’s Queensland Country Hour program, Barnaby Joyce claimed his drought package is working well and effectively ruled out doing anything more.

His only offer today was to say that next week “I’m wandering around the country with Joe Hockey”.  I’m sure rural communities will feel reassured by that prospect!

Barnaby Joyce is delusional if he thinks his drought package is working.  No one believes that – not farmers, not Minister Macfarlane, and not the Member for Maranoa Bruce Scott who last week wrote to his local editors about the failure of the drought package.

How can Barnaby Joyce claim success when only six per cent of the money he allocated for drought concessional loans has been spent?

Minister Joyce got one thing right when he identified the success of Labor’s Farm Finance concessional loan scheme, but is mischievously using its success to suggest his drought-specific loans scheme is working.

The Minister needs to start listening to those crying out for help – I’ve offered bipartisan support for any appropriate additional measures or adjustments.

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