Cobb welcomes $400 million support package
Federal Member John Cobb has welcomed a further Budget boost to communities including Calare that have been hit by the drought, taking the total value of measures available in this year’s budget to more than $400 million.
In addition to the $333 million announced at the weekend, the Commonwealth will provide $70 million to assist primary producers claim accelerated depreciation for water facilities, fodder storage and fencing from 1 July 2016.
“History shows that even country as good as Calare is not immune from drought and while some areas continue to battle severe conditions, as a nation we must better prepare for drought in the long term,” Mr Cobb said.
“This is a practical package that funds shovel ready projects, helps with feral animals, expands community support, and provides more financial counsellors and further drought concessional loans.
“Droughts don’t last forever – so we need to keep as many people in jobs and families on properties while it continues.”
Mr Cobb said the $70 million in depreciation measures was in addition to other measures already announced as part of the Budget:
- $35 million for shovel-ready, local infrastructure and employment projects;
- $25 million to manage pest animals and weeds in drought-affected areas;
- $20 million to expand existing social and community support programmes;
- $1.8 million for additional rural financial counsellors in drought-affected areas, and
- $250 million in 2015–16 to continue access to existing drought specific concessional loans schemes.
“This assistance builds on the existing Commonwealth support to farmers experiencing hardship which is currently flowing to over 4,800 farmers or their partners,” Mr Cobb said.
For information on the new drought support measures go to www.agriculture.gov.au/drought