Today Tony Abbott stated that “the loans will be administered in the same way the existing program is being administered” which has already been a proven failure.
The $250 million allocated for drought concessional loans is simply a re-announcement of money Barnaby Joyce has been unable to spend because most farmers either can't access the loans or consider them unhelpful.
The $35 million to bring forward local infrastructure projects is dwarfed by money already taken from local councils through cuts to Federal Assistance Grants (FAGS) in Tony Abbott's first budget, which cost drought-affected communities in Maranoa and Kennedy $70 million over four years in cuts to local councils.
Funds allocated for mental health, rural counselling and pests and weeds are welcome but look like re-announcements and require further explanation.
Today Mr Abbott is talking about $270 in concessional loans which has already gone to farmers. This is a mean trick. The $270 million is the total value of the loans and it is estimated only $30 million of loans have been allocated to farmers.
Today's photo opportunity is a re-enactment of Tony Abbott's February drought tour which was followed by a failed drought policy. Today's tour is an admission of that.
Sadly for desperate drought-affected families, history looks like it is repeating.
SATURDAY, 9 MAY 2015