Tomorrow is the cut-off date for drought affected farmers to apply for the first tranche of the $12,000 Farm Household Allowance supplement payment.
Labor has urged the Government to remove the cut off date because it seems a particularly cruel measure as we head into the Christmas period.
We know that many possibly eligible farmers are continuing to find the application process difficult and this was confirmed by the Veterans Affairs Minister Darren Chester who said:
"The feedback I am receiving is the application process is still too complex and it is discouraging some farmers from making applications."
Gippsland Times & Maffra Spectator, 27 November 2018
We know that the Turnbull Coalition Government was out of touch with the reality of the effects of the drought and just prior to being rolled the former Prime Minister announced a number of measures, which many claimed was too little too late.
We mustn’t forget that even Barnaby Joyce, who is now the drought envoy, was caught out in 2014 doctoring his Hansard after exaggerating the Government’s drought assistance measures. This raises the question as to what is the true reason a former Agriculture Minister and Deputy Prime Minister who did nothing for drought affected farmers while part of the Cabinet is then given the drought envoy role in the Morrison Government?
We also mustn’t forget that the former Agriculture Department Secretary called into question Barnaby Joyce’s integrity in a letter sent to the then Minister prior to getting the sack.
The Morrison Coalition Government must provide the Australian community with an update on how many drought affected farmers have benefited from the Government’s new drought measures. The Prime Minister must also reconsider removing the cruel and unnecessary cut-off date for the Farm Household Allowance supplement payment.