Major cracks are appearing in the Prime Minister’s so-called drought stimulus package before the dust has even settled.
The Herald Sun today reports a Morrison Government backbencher misled his own constituents over a promised $1 million through the Drought Communities Programme Extension.
On 31 October 2019, the Nationals Member for Nicholls Damian Drum told the people of drought-affected Moira Shire that Drought Minister Littleproud had used ‘ministerial discretion’ to grant the LGA access to drought funding.
Despite knowing his backbencher’s claims to be false, the Drought Minister went to ground and left it to media enquiries ten days later to reveal the truth.
The “frustrated” Mayor of Moira Shire told the Herald Sun today:
“You can’t announce something and then not do it. I’d be very disappointed if it didn’t come our way.”
Cr Libro Mustica, Mayor of Moira Shire, 11 November 2019
Scott Morrison must step in, right this wrong and apologise to the people of Moira Shire.
Eligibility for potentially millions of dollars in regional development, household assistance and transport infrastructure programs hinges on a Local Government Area’s eligibility under the Drought Communities Programme Extension.
To be declared eligible, an LGA must have no less than 17 per cent of its workforce employed in agriculture, fisheries or forestry, and have a rainfall deficiency over 24 months with 12 months of that below average.
Departmental Officials told Senate Estimates last month that Moira Shire met the rainfall threshold but was 0.1 per cent below the employment threshold.
Labor continues to offer to work with the Prime Minister in a bipartisan manner to support our farmers and rural communities who are suffering through this drought.
However, the lack of transparency, lack of oversight and lack of detail in the Morrison Government’s so-called drought stimulus package is leaving drought-affected communities worse off.