Desperate drought affected farmers learned today where they rate on the Abbott Government’s priority list.
Barnaby Joyce admitted on ABC Radio this morning that that the process for considering further drought assistance has been relegated to an “informal” chat with the Treasurer in the doorway of the Cabinet room.
His comments follow interventions from Cabinet Minister Ian Macfarlane and Deputy Speaker Bruce Scott, both of whom have acknowledged the Government’s drought response has been a failure.
The Prime Minister’s February drought tour might have been a good political circuit-breaker for the Government but it has done little for struggling farming families.
It’s past time the Government acknowledged that it was a mistake to abolish the COAG process set up to progress national agricultural policy.
Only a well-considered, whole-of-governments approach will produce good, sustainable drought policy.