$5 billion drought fund secured

By Country News

Farmers and the communities they live in, which have been suffering years of unrelenting drought, will now have access to the tools they need to prepare for, manage and sustain their businesses, says the Federal Government, after the Future Drought Fund legislation passed through the Senate on July 24.

The Future Drought Fund will grow from $3.9billion to $5billion during the next decade, while facilitating a $100million-a-year additional investment into drought resilience and preparedness, even in the good years, every year from July 1, 2020.

‘‘The government is backing in our farmers, and we will always stand up and support our drought-affected communities,’’ a joint statement from Finance Minister Mathias Cormann, Agriculture Minister Bridget McKenzie, Drought Minister David Littleproud, Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said.

‘‘The Future Drought Fund is about more than just money — it is about giving our farmers the best possible tools to face drought, now and in the future,’’ they said.

‘‘A consultative committee will soon begin engaging with farmers and rural and regional communities to ensure the money is well spent when the additional funding becomes available from next year.’’