Farmers and rural and regional communities 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 with the passage of the Future Drought Fund legislation through the Senate today.
The Future Drought Fund will grow from $3.9 billion to $5 billion over the next decade, while facilitating a $100 million a year additional investment into drought resilience and preparedness, even in the good years, every year from 1 July 2020.
The Government is backing in our farmers, and we will always stand up and support our drought-affected communities. 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.
Despite Labor’s attempts to stop the Government from establishing the Future Drought Fund, the Government has delivered on its election commitment to guarantee a sustainable source of funding for vital drought resilience projects in rural and regional communities.
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.
The Government will work swiftly to establish the Future Drought Fund Consultative Committee and put in place rigorous governance arrangements for the appropriate selection and prioritisation of projects.
Drought is a fact of life in this country. Our Future Drought Fund will ensure our farmers, who are among the best in the world and regional communities are better equipped to deal with its effects when it happens again.
The Future Drought Fund comes on top of the Government’s $2 billion in additional drought initiatives we have already previously announced.