Minister McKenzie in Grey Viewing Tough Drought Issues
Posted on Monday, 5 November, 2018
Federal Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey welcomed Minister for
Regional Services Bridget McKenzie to Grey last week to inspect some of the damage
caused by drought conditions and meet with farmers, community members and
council representatives dealing with the day to day response.
“The Minister’s visit was a good opportunity for her to talk
with people most impacted by the season,” he said.
“Minister McKenzie said she had not seen drift banks and
roads as drifted over on this scale before and with her first-hand experience
comes the understanding of the impost it places on farmers, whose
responsibility it is to remove the soil,” Mr Ramsey said.
“It was this problem I used to highlight the severity of the
drought with the Prime Minister, Agriculture Minister David Littleproud and Minister
McKenzie and ask them to extend a similar Community Assistance package to SA as
was introduced in the eastern states a few months ago.
“The result has been that 17 of the last 21 areas announced
around Australia for the community packages are in SA with 13 of these in Grey.
I thank the ministers and particularly Bridget, for their response. Each
council will receive up to $1m for eligible projects.
“The Minister has made it clear this funding is not directed
at farmers, there are other streams of support in place in that area already.
“However, this pool of money is for councils to develop
programs to stimulate the local economy and help local businesses to keep open
their doors and retain employees until the rains return.”
Mr Ramsey said Minister McKenzie would be re-assessing the
program monthly as more data becomes available and councils currently not
meeting the criteria may be included at a later date.
“The formula used by the department is the same as has been
used in other states and is based on rainfall deficiency and percentage of
people whose income is derived from agriculture,” he said.
“I took the minister to the Cowell/Arno Bay area as an
example of what we are dealing with in a number of places throughout the
electorate and she is well aware of similar conditions in numerous sites. Later
in the day we met with a number of representatives from the northern pastoral
zone and discussed their most immediate problems.
Contact: Leonie Lloyd-Smith 08 8633 1744