Those who hoped today’s Drought Summit would be meaningful will be disappointed.
As predicted, it was no more than a talkfest which revisited all the conversations we’ve all had many times before.
Hope of something more meaningful collapsed early this morning when the Prime Minister made an announcement before the Summit even began.
That announcement was designed only to generate a pre-election $5 billion headline. But in reality, it’s a promise to spend $100 million on drought each year from 2020 if he’s re-elected.
Largely missing from today’s Summit was a recognition that the starting point for good drought policy development is action on climate change and discussing what future farming will look like.
We are still waiting for a long-term strategy for carbon mitigation and drought adaptation. And we are still waiting for a plan to accelerate the adoption of best-practice natural resource management practices.
We’ve now lost five years of drought resilience planning. One of the Government’s first acts following the 2013 election was to abolish the COAG Committee charged with developing the principles set out in the 2013 Intergovernmental Agreement on Drought Policy Reform.
Farmers will be shaking their heads.