Sum­mit to talk drought

Shepparton News - Country News - - NEWS -

Prime Min­is­ter Scott Mor­ri­son will host a na­tional drought sum­mit on Oc­to­ber 26 in Can­berra.

Mr Mor­ri­son told a meet­ing last Wed­nes­day, when he re­ceived an up­date on droughtre­lated ac­tiv­i­ties, it re­mained his top pri­or­ity to deal with not just im­me­di­ate re­lief, but en­sur­ing com­mu­ni­ties could re­cover and re­build.

‘‘That (sum­mit) will pro­vide an op­por­tu­nity to get a sta­tus up­date on ev­ery­thing that is be­ing done both at the state and Com­mon­wealth level,’’ Mr Mor­ri­son said.

He told the meet­ing that fed­eral fund­ing given to lo­cal coun­cils in drought-hit states for projects to keep towns vi­able was hav­ing a pos­i­tive im­pact.

‘‘We can’t make it rain but we can sup­port those re­gional and lo­cal economies in those towns,’’ he said.

Mr Mor­ri­son said while do­na­tions of tinned fruit and other items were wel­come in strug­gling com­mu­ni­ties, the best sup­port was to spend money lo­cally.

Wed­nes­day’s meet­ing in­cluded brief­ings from na­tional drought co-or­di­na­tor Ma­jor Gen­eral Stephen Day and spe­cial en­voy Barn­aby Joyce.

The gov­ern­ment’s lat­est drought-re­lief mea­sure passed the lower house on Wed­nes­day, and al­lows farm­ers to im­me­di­ately deduct the cost of fod­der stor­age as­sets, mak­ing it eas­ier to stock­pile.

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