More cash for drought program
Story Added : 12th May 2011
The program, which was implemented following a national drought policy review, is designed to prepare farmers for future challenges, rather than waiting until a crisis hits.
The Western Australian Farmers Federation (WAFarmers) said the Government’s $55 million investment will extend the program in WA through to 2012.
WAFarmers senior vice-president, Dale Park, said the extension recognises the complexities involved in delivering the drought pilot at a time when WA is experiencing a period of low rainfall.
“With ongoing uncertainty as to what season conditions will occur in 2011, the pilot does not prevent - if we have another poor year and there is no national agreement on drought reform by March 2012 - Western Australia from applying for an Exceptional Circumstances (EC) declaration in 2012,” he said.
The 20011/12 phase of the pilot has included an additional 63 shires and now covers the entire South West Land Division.
More than 800 farm businesses will be able to participate in farm planning activities while 650 may be eligible to access up to $30,000 through the Building Farm Businesses Initiative.
The extension also allows more than 300 farm families, who are currently accessing farm family support payments through the pilot program, to continue to receive this money beyond the current deadline of June, 2011.