THE Nationals have welcomed a new move to enhance the Australian Government’s drought response efforts with today’s announcement of a National Drought Summit.

The Drought Summit announced by Prime Minister Scott Morrison, to be held on 26 October 2018, will aim to deliver even more targeted and strategic assistance measures to farmers and their communities to help combat one of the worst droughts ever experienced in some parts of New South Wales and Queensland.

Areas of Victoria are also dealing with dry conditions and moves to improve the delivery of national drought relief efforts will help to prepare and build the resilience of other farming regions in Australia, which may not yet be drought-declared.

The Nationals understand the need to provide additional drought assistance on top of existing programs such as water infrastructure projects.

We look forward to listening to the contribution and expertise of farm leaders and industry stakeholders at the Drought Summit, on ways to further improve support measures such as red tape reduction.

We are already backing regional families by providing an additional $1.8 billion in drought relief over recent months through programs such as $1 million in grants to support local councils with cash-injection through projects such as local infrastructure and road works.

Former Agriculture and Water Resources Minister and now Special Envoy for Drought Assistance and Recovery, Barnaby Joyce, has already been working with The Coordinator-General for Drought, Major General Stephen Day, to improve the quality of drought assistance provided to farming communities throughout the nation.

Shane Manning