In light of revelations that Moira Shire in Victoria is again currently ineligible for drought support, Shadow Minister for Regional Development Catherine King said it’s time for Drought Minister David Littleproud to start being transparent with drought-affected communities.
Rural and regional Australians living through this extended drought don’t need uncertainty from the Government – they just want answers.
Last Thursday, the Prime Minister announced the next round of his so-called drought stimulus package.
Eligibility for 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 (DCP).
While six new LGAs were added to the eligibility list, many more now face months of uncertainty as they await the findings of a DCP Review ordered by Drought Minister David Littleproud.
The Prime Minister’s announcement also flagged a $50 million discretionary fund for LGAs impacted by the drought, but released no details on how or when the Drought Minister would allocate this funding.
The Drought Minister must immediately release the terms of reference for the DCP Review and provide more details on the scope of the $50 million discretionary fund.
Labor continues to offer to work with the Government to support our farmers and rural communities impacted by the drought.
However, the lack of publicly available information on the Government’s so-called drought stimulus package is cause for concern.