The NSW Government is calling on Commonwealth, state and territory governments to come to the table and back a national income protection scheme to insure farmers against drought.
Minister for Agriculture Adam Marshall renewed calls for the income protection scheme as agriculture ministers from across the country convened in Moree today for a special meeting on drought.
“As this devastating drought rolls on and continues to ravage our rural communities it’s clear governments need to think big and take ambitious action to protect our farmers and businesses against future droughts,” Mr Marshall said.
“The NSW Government is of the firm belief that the best drought assistance measure a government can deliver is to help the agricultural industry self-insure and remove some of the volatility in the sector.”
In July the NSW Government announced it was committing $2 million to partner with the National Farmers Federation (NFF) to explore insurance models and called on other governments to sign up.
“The NSW Government has taken the lead on this issue but it’s bigger than any one state or territory. It’s national in scale and that’s why we need buy-in from all governments across the country, especially the Commonwealth,” Mr Marshall said.
“Farmers in places like Canada and Europe are already able to access these kinds of schemes but in Australia national farm income protection models have proven elusive. It’s time that changed.”
The NSW Government and National Farmers Federation are scoping potential insurance models that would protect farm incomes during drought or times of natural disasters. The project involves evaluating insurance models in overseas jurisdictions and will identify the best way to deliver such a product in Australia.