More help will be re­quired

The Western Star - - RURAL WEEKLY -

QUEENS­LAND LNP Se­na­tor Barry O’Sul­li­van said while the an­nounce­ment to ex­tend the Farm House­hold Al­lowance will be strongly wel­comed across ru­ral ar­eas, fur­ther sup­port mea­sures would be needed to en­sure rav­aged west­ern com­mu­ni­ties can sur­vive and re­build from one of the worst droughts in Aus­tralian his­tory.

Se­na­tor O’Sul­li­van said Min­is­ter Lit­tleproud’s an­nounce­ment to ex­tend the FHA from three to four years would en­sure thou­sands of Aus­tralian farm­ers had the cer­tainty of a fi­nan­cial safety net for the next 12 months.

How­ever, Se­na­tor O’Sul­li­van said gov­ern­ment at­ten­tion would now need to shift to­wards ini­tia­tives that pro­vided cash-flow for en­tire ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties gripped by drought.

“Many of our west­ern com­mu­ni­ties are strug­gling eco­nom­i­cally, en­vi­ron­men­tally and so­cially un­der the pres­sure of six failed wet sea­sons.

“The ef­fects of this drought reach from the farm gate into ev­ery cor­ner of th­ese com­mu­ni­ties.

“Ev­ery sin­gle per­son is im­pacted – from the me­chanic to the council worker to the gro­cery store man­ager.”

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