Australia announces extra US$140 million aid package for drought-hit farmers

Australia announces extra US$140 million aid package for drought-hit farmers

"You put the food on our tables, the fibre that goes on our backs and we have your back - we're supporting you, " Mr Turnbull said.

The Farm Household Allowance Scheme already provides a payment equivalent to Newstart Allowance for up to four years for eligible households. Previously the cut-off was $2.6 million.

McCormack echoed the prime minister and acknowledged the important role farmers have in the nation. The NSW government has also given more than A$1 billion in assistance.

"It's vital that we help farmers and families that are dealing with the stress and pressures drought brings", Simson said in a statement on August 5.

"We can't make it rain". In fact, it discourages them from making the right decisions to achieve resilience.

The NSW Farmers' Association and Queensland's AgForce both welcomed the federal government's announcement.

"It is created to keep body and soul together, not created to pay for fodder", the Prime Minister said.

"The value of land and the costs of operating machinery have risen significantly in recent years and this has placed on-farm total asset value above the current threshold". You should never regard Australian farmers as being helpless at all in the face of the climate.

"We would also like farmers to be aware that the Rural Financial Councillors services come at no cost to them", Mr Jackson said.

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

Mr Turnbull said the the commonwealth would work with local governments to look at trucking in water to communities if the situation worsened.

"We look forward to sitting down and working with the government on more targeted drought measures".

With 99 per cent of NSW and just under 60 per cent of Queensland officially in drought, relief efforts have been ramped up.

Drought relief isn't needed by most farmers, who are prepared for drought.

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

Coles has announced $5 million in grants and interest-free loans from its Nurture Fund, while funds raised in supermarkets will be given to the Country Women's Association to support farm families affected by the drought. "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.

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