Government Drought Program under review
THE Queensland Government’s Drought Program is being reviewed. An expert panel is considering what has worked well, what could be improved, and how the State and industry can better prepare for future droughts.
The panel has sought industry feedback on what can be improved and how future resilience can be built.
Ruth Wade and Charles Burke, former chief executive officers of the Queensland Farmers Federation (QFF) and AgForce Queensland respectively, have been appointed to the panel.
The panel held regional forums throughout September and October at Dalby, Charleville, Longreach, Cloncurry, Ayr and Bundaberg, and will deliver its recommendations to the Queensland Government in early 2019.
Producers will continue to receive support throughout this ongoing drought.
On 13 August, it was announced the Drought Relief Assistance Scheme (DRAS) would be increased including:
- subsidies for freight including distance travelled up to 2000 kms;
- increasing the maximum claimable when entering a sixth year of drought of up to $50,000 per financial year with an approved Drought Management Plan in place; and
- increased assistance to the hired carrier freight rate being either 50% of the loaded portion of the transport cost, or 20 cents per tonne per kilometre.
Additional funding for mental health services and a small business financial counselling service across Queensland was also announced. For more information on drought assistance visit daf.qld.gov.au/drought or call 13 25 23.