1 July 2011
Today marks the start of the $44.1 million extension of drought reform measures in Western Australia, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Senator Joe Ludwig said.
Minister Ludwig said the pilot region will be expanded from today to the southwest of the state to cover approximately 96 per cent of Western Australian farmers or more than 13,000 farm businesses.
“This is more than double the number of current participants in the pilot, which started on 1 July 2010 and covers approximately 40 per cent of all WA farmers or about 6,000 farm businesses,” he said.
“The extension means that support will continue for farming families while a review of the pilot is finalised. It will also allow more time to test measures as the Government considers the next steps in national drought reform.”
The pilot is trialling a range of drought assistance measures designed to help farmers better manage the risks of drought and prepare for future challenges.
“The Gillard Government is committed to supporting our farmers, their families and regional communities to cope with the long-term effects of drought,” Minister Ludwig said.
“I encourage farmers in the pilot region to take advantage of the support under these trial measures.”
Information sessions will be held across the expanded pilot region to ensure farmers have the opportunity to ask questions and to understand the package of measures.
The information sessions will be held from 12 July 2011 and farmers can register their interest in attending a session by calling the Drought Assistance Hotline on 13 23 16.
The Australian Government announced the extension and expansion of the measures in the 2010-11 Budget.
Further details on the pilot measures, information session locations and times are available on drought pilot website.