After six years of inaction the Morrison Government has delegated its responsibility for developing a national, comprehensive drought policy to the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF), said Labor’s Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Joel Fitzgibbon.
“Scott Morrison is waiting for the NFF to write his drought policy,” said Mr Fitzgibbon.
“On the ABC’s Insiders program this morning, Fran Kelly asked Drought Minister David Littleproud: “Where is your long-term drought strategy? You seem to have sectioned it off to the NFF to give you one.”
Minister Littleproud responded, “the NFF, out of respect to them, we are waiting for them to finalise their drought strategy. The peak agricultural group in this nation, we are waiting for their strategy so I can put that in front of Cabinet.”
Fran Kelly responded, “the NFF is only coming up with a strategy because they have been asking you for six years to do one.”
Mr Fitzgibbon said the delaying tactics of the Drought Minister were unacceptable in light of the fact that parts of Australia are suffering the worst drought on record, and the Government is sitting on the report of the Drought Coordinator - Major General Stephen Day - over which it is claiming cabinet secrecy.
“David Littleproud told Fran Kelly that there is nothing in Major General Stephen Day’s report that they are not already acting on,” said Mr Fitzgibbon. “He should let farmers be the judge of that by releasing the taxpayer-funded Drought Coordinator’s report.”
Mr Fitzgibbon also asked: “has the NFF been given a copy of the Drought Coordinator’s report?”
“Scott Morrison’s drought response becomes more chaotic each day. We’ve had a Drought Summit, a Drought Coordinator, a Drought Envoy and a Drought Taskforce, but our farmers and rural communities are still waiting for a comprehensive and effective policy.”