Senate debates

Monday, 2 December 2019

Questions without Notice

Murray-Darling Basin

2:39 pm

Photo of Bridget McKenzieBridget McKenzie (Victoria, National Party, Minister for Agriculture) Share this | Hansard source

Thank you very much, Senator Davey. The Liberal and Nationals government supports farmers and rural communities to build resilience and preparedness for drought. Our drought strategy comes in three parts: immediate support for those affected, support for regional communities, and building for long-term resilience. We're making immediate support available through the farm household allowance; additional financial counselling services; drought community support programs; mental health and wellbeing programs; interest-free concessional loans, which can see farm businesses save up to $150,000 in interest and repayments alone; and generous tax measures. Our three-point plan will help make sure our rural industries get through and recover from this drought so that they can make the most of our growing global market access and our strong reputation as a trader.

The Water and Fodder program is one example of the direct support we are providing for our farmers. It will also not reduce the security of water supply in South Australia, so it's a win for farmers up and down the basin.

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