Drought missing from Morrison's COAG agenda

In the wake of the October Drought Summit the Prime Minister made a commitment to progress the stalled InterGovernmental Agreement (IGA) on Drought Reform at the December Council of Australian Governments (CoAG) meeting.

But when Scott Morrison meets with Australia’s Premiers and Chief Ministers for COAG tomorrow, drought won’t be amongst the eight topics listed for discussion. What this shows once again is that Scott Morrison is a man of hollow words who does not understand or value our agriculture sector and farming communities.

We all remember when Scott Morrison listed the drought as his highest priority in his first public statement as Prime Minister. Yet just four months on, it’s already fallen off his agenda.

In 2013 the Commonwealth and the States signed an historic InterGovernmental Agreement on Drought policy reform. They resolved Drought policy reform must be consistent with the IGA’s objectives.  But following the 2013 election the Abbott Government abolished the COAG committee and the reform progress stalled. 

After five years of Coalition Government the InterGovernmental Agreement on Drought Reform has lapsed with no replacement.

In October the Morrison Government finally accepted it was critical that governments collectively plan for a hotter and drier future and belatedly, agreed to discuss a new IGA on Drought Reform at the December CoAG meeting.  We now know this will not happen.

A Shorten Labor Government has already announced it will restore the COAG process to ensure a coordinated approach to agriculture policy.

It seems the Prime Minister is only interested in agriculture in times of crisis when the television cameras are at the ready.

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