Federal government announces drought aid

Australia's Turnbull: 'Now we are the land of droughts'

Severe droughts are affecting several states across the nation.

This is a special payment in recognition of the severity of the drought.

The payments will be made on September 1, 2018, and March 1, 2019.

LOOK, any help during what is the worst drought in NSW in more than a half-century is better than a kick in the face from a cow.

The government is giving eligible farmers cash payments of up to $12,000 in two installments.

"What that will do is provide additional cash in this coming year".

The prime minister also defended the federal government's $190 million drought relief package, which has been labelled "too little, too late" by critics.

"I think everyone agrees that we're seeing rainfall that is, if you like, more erratic, droughts that are more frequent and seasons that are hotter", he said.

"We are the land of droughts and flooding rains. But we can ensure that farming families and their communities get all the support they need to get through the drought, recover and get back on their feet".

When Malcolm Turnbull had a private meeting with the six-member Great Barrier Reef Foundation, the government handed over a donation of nearly half a billion dollars without the body so much as asking for it and no tenders called.

Until it rains, the physical and emotional pressures will mount as farmers continue to make hard decisions.

The PM said Australia's global emissions reductions targets will help farmers.

As part of the funding, there is also a commitment to mental health services.

Malcolm Turnbull during a tour of drought-stricken towns in regional NSW and Queensland. And, he says, there is "more to come".

Turnbull also paid tribute to farmers for their resilience. "When farmers do it well the whole nation benefits, when farmers do it tough, as they are now the whole nation suffers", he said during the press conference.

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology has forecast still drier conditions and says there is no end in sight to the drought.

"The Eyre Peninsula has been severely affected, and livestock farmers in particular are having to make tough decisions, " Mr Whetstone said.

Under the new arrangements farmers can now receive a fourth year of assistance from the FHA, when previously they could receive three years' of assistance. Yet again, the Prime Minister has disappointed us.

However the Department of Agriculture estimated that there may be 19,000 farmers eligible for Farm Household Allowance who had not yet applied for it.

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