Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud has called on the Queensland Government to provide rate relief for family farms and small businesses battling drought.
“The Queensland Government could remove rates for small businesses and family farms in drought-affected areas,” Minister Littleproud said.
“It could pay the councils the rates so they can keep running services.
“It’s a practical move which would really help small businesses and family farms.
“It’s important small businesses are also included because they’re also hurting during this drought.
“The Queensland Government should also look at forgiving lease payments on leasehold land for family farms.
“The corporates don’t need a leg up but family farms and small businesses are the backbone of Australia’s food supply. We need them to survive this drought and they don’t have the deep pockets the corporates do.”
The call comes after Minister Littleproud heard first-hand the concerns of drought stricken farmers in SW Queensland on a two day listening tour.
“We’re now at a tipping point heading into winter where the chances of good rain events are diminishing so we need to look at how we can continue to support our communities with practical programs that keep money flowing through towns,” Minister Littleproud said.
“The Federal Government has put almost $6 billion – growing to $7 billion – into drought and recently had the Future Drought Fund, which will deliver $100M for drought in perpetuity, pass through the House of Representatives despite Federal Labor voting against it.
“The Federal Government continues to review its own response to drought constantly and we will continue to be agile as the drought continues.”