Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane today told us what we already knew – the Government’s response to the drought has been sadly inadequate.
In February the Prime Minister and Agriculture Minister toured drought affected areas and it proved to be a great political circuit-breaker. But the subsequent drought policy announcement has provided little relief.
Today senior cabinet Minister Ian Macfarlane finally discovered the seriousness of the drought and its impact on farmers. On a trip to Longreach, six months after the Prime Minister’s drought announcement, he said the drought conditions “startled him”.
Meeting with graziers, community leaders and support agencies, the penny finally dropped with the Industry Minister who indicated he will be raising these issues with the Prime Minister, Barnaby Joyce and Kevin Andrews.
The fact that the Industry Minister has been forced to raise these issues with his Cabinet colleagues at this late stage demonstrates again how hopelessly out-of-touch Government ministers are.
Sadly, Joe Hockey is not alone.