The Prime Minister must immediately declare he won’t run up the white flag of surrender, and instead deliver a National Drought Plan and declare immediate and meaningful drought assistance for our farmers and rural Australia, Shadow Minister for Agriculture Joel Fitzgibbon said today.
The Prime Minister is being loose with the truth and has been caught out. The fact is, he is not “already providing $7 billion in drought support funding”.
“Struggling farming families need to know their Government is standing with them, not plotting their demise,” said Mr Fitzgibbon in response to the news that the National Farmer’s Federation is recommending an exit package for drought-affected farmers. “In the absence of a broader drought plan, the Prime Minister should reject the exit assistance proposal the National Farmers’ Federation is now advocating.”
Mr Fitzgibbon said the Productivity Commission rejected exit assistance grants in its extensive 2009 report on Government Drought Support
“The Prime Minister needs to do three things today:
- Declare that he will not give up on our farmers, rural workers and our food and fibre systems
- Release Coordinator-General Major General Stephen Day’s Report, and
- Convene a Drought Cabinet
“The NFF has a plan, half of the angry National party room have a cobbled together plan - because they have lost faith in the Leadership of McCormack and McKenzie - and the Prime Minister has no drought plan. He needs one and he needs one immediately because drought affected farmers cannot wait any longer.”