Revelations that Victoria’s West Wimmera and Buloke Shires do not meet the criteria for assistance under the Drought Communities Program is more evidence that the Government’s drought response has been hopeless.
From the days immediately following Tony Abbott’s stage-managed drought tour in 2014 it has been obvious that the Government’s key objective has been to look good but do nothing.
The Government’s drought policy has been marked by:
• Loans impossible to secure or unhelpful for most;
• Disputes with State Governments;
• Drought recovery loans only available when the drought has broken;
• Concessional loan rates higher than the Government’s borrowing costs; and
• Infrastructure rebates which were underfunded and fully subscribed in weeks.
The Drought Communities Program was supposed to provide immediate economic stimulus but isn’t available to many and is yet to take effect in areas which do manage to qualify.
Farmers and council leaders in all drought affected States are complaining about the Government’s drought response.
It’s another example of new Prime Minister, same policies
FRIDAY, 29 JANUARY 2016