Cattle from a Dalby property where drought assistance has been needed in the past.
Cattle from a Dalby property where drought assistance has been needed in the past. File

Drought assistance to help farmers and local business

FARMERS still facing hardships during the drought might be eligible for more assistance.

Wide Bay Federal Member Llew O'Brien encourages South Burnett farmers to apply for packages from the federal government's $30 million Drought Community Support Initiative.

The packages offer financial assistance of up to $3000 per household, with $2000 in cash and $1000 in vouchers.

"A fundamental part of this support is that vouchers are to be redeemed at local businesses," Mr O'Brien said.

"This injection of money in rural and regional communities will help boost local businesses because it is not just farmers who are doing it tough during this crippling drought. Drought impacts on local businesses, their cash flow and their employees so this targeted assistance is important to them too."

Mr O'Brien said this would benefit many local business owners as well as farmers.

"Supporting farming households, communities and businesses to help keep people living and working on the land and in their towns is critical to the health and prosperity of the entire country," he said.

"Regional Australia accounts for around two-thirds of our nation's exports and employs hundreds of thousands of Australians. The Liberal Nationals Government is backing the regions all the way, during the tough times as well as the good."

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Minister for Regional Services Bridget McKenzie said providing struggling farmers with practical support was a top priority.

"I am pleased to confirm the $30 million Drought Community Support Initiative is up and running. It provides immediate assistance to at least 10,000 farming households facing hardship because of the drought," she said.

"We are continuing to work with trusted not-for-profit organisations and I am pleased that The Salvation Army, St Vincent de Paul Society and Rotary Australia World Community Service are delivering this assistance on behalf of the Liberal & Nationals Government.

"These community organisations are experienced in delivering cash and vouchers and, importantly, can provide immediate relief across all of the eligible Local Government Areas."

To be eligible for the financial packages, a member of the household must be 18 years or older, a farmer, farm worker or contractor who has been affected financially by the drought.

South Burnett

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