Marshall Liberal Government welcomes further drought assistance funding in SA

The Marshall Liberal Government welcomes the Federal Government’s drought assistance package announced at today’s National Drought Summit.

In addition to the $5 billion Future Drought Fund announced today, drought-affected council areas in South Australia will also receive an immediate boost with the $81 million Drought Communities Program which initially excluded SA, now expanded to include 17 local council areas.

The program provides up to $1 million for each council in funding to support local infrastructure and other projects for communities and businesses who have been impacted by drought.

Acting Premier Vickie Chapman said the State Government will continue to work with the Federal Government and farming industry to deliver outcomes for drought-affected regions in South Australia.

“The Marshall Liberal Government welcomes today’s Federal Government drought assistance support announcement which will directly help South Australian farmers and communities in need,” said Ms Chapman.

“Importantly, 17 South Australian council areas will now be eligible to receive funding under the expanded Drought Communities Program which was one of our key requests going into today’s Summit.

“The South Australian Government will work with the Commonwealth to take advantage of the new measures to build resilience, such as on-farm water infrastructure and further investments in mental health support for regional communities.”

Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Tim Whetstone said the expansion of the Drought Communities Program to support 17 regional councils is a welcome investment with the South Australian agriculture, food and wine industries generating about $22.5 billion in revenue and 52 per cent of the State’s merchandise exports.

“Our Government has been working constructively with the Commonwealth as farming conditions have declined,” said Minister Whetstone.

“The impact of droughts extend beyond the farm gate and quickly turn into financial droughts for those local businesses and workers who rely on profitable farmers coming into the small towns and spending money.

“The Prime Minister and Drought Summit have taken on board the South Australian farm industries’ concerns about transport subsidies in other jurisdictions which have distorted the folder marker to the disadvantage of local producers.

“This new funding injection into droughted areas will enable councils to deliver local projects that create employment and build the resilience of communities and is a recognition of the pressures places on local government during drought.”

South Australian council areas eligible for Drought Communities Program funding include:

-           Barunga West Council

-           District Council of Ceduna

-           Clare and Gilbert Valleys Council

-           District Council of Cleve

-           District Council of Franklin Harbour

-           Regional Council of Goyder

-           District Council Karoonda East Murray

-           District Council of Kimba

-           District Council of Loxton Waikerie

-           Mid Murray Council

-           District Council of Mount Remarkable

-           District Council of Northern Areas Council

-           District Council of Orroroo Carrieton

-           Southern Mallee District Council

-           District Council of Streaky Bay

-           Wakefield Regional Council

-           Wudinna District Council