New drought appeal to help our graziers
THE Premier’s new Queensland Drought Appeal should model itself on the success of the community-led Western Queensland Drought Appeal, Member for Gregory Lachlan Millar said.
Mr Millar said the Western Queensland Drought Appeal was set up after the Premier refused his request three years ago for a Queensland Drought Appeal to promote and distribute monetary donations.
“I congratulate the Premier for coming to the table and supporting our farmers and graziers throughout rural Queensland, but it’s important that we ensure that the money raised is effectively supporting the whole rural community,” he said.
“Over the last three years the Western Queensland Drought Appeal has delivered over $1 million to droughtaffected primary producers and their families in 18 remote shires across north, south and central western Queensland.”
Mr Millar said small business operators were not eligible for Federal Government assistance, so they are really hit hard.
“We are in our seventh year of drought in western Queensland. The whole basis of the local economies would have evaporated without the Western Queensland Drought Appeal. It has been calculated that every dollar distributed circulates seven times in the local economies. So we are making those donations work very hard,” he said.
“If we are to have viable communities after the drought we need to keep the general grocers, the hardware merchant, the newsagent, the local tradies such as the mechanic and the electrician, the butcher and the plumber going.
“I hope the new Queensland Drought Appeal Fund will promote the donation of cash for drought relief and urge the Premier to look at what’s already working.”
DRY PASTURE: Member for Gregory Lachlan Millar, Winton grazier John Paine and Queensland Opposition agriculture spokesman Tony Perrett.