Senator the Hon. Mathias Cormann
Minister for Finance and the Public Service
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Senator for Western Australia
The Hon. David Littleproud MP
Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Drought Preparation and Response
Federal Member for Maranoa
Date: Tuesday, 12 February 2019
Labor has turned its back on regional communities across Australia that are suffering from the effects of drought.
They have decided to play politics with the future of Australian farmers when they're at their most vulnerable.
To callously decide to vote against the Drought Future Fund after Labor’s own Senators clearly supported the Bill during the Senate committee inquiry into it, is a new political low.
Labor’s decision comes at a time when farmers continue to battle with the effects of the drought and now also with the impact of a major flood.
"The $3.9 billion Drought Future Fund, growing to $5 billion, guarantees around $100 million a year into drought proofing our communities - including through climate adaptation, building sustainable agriculture, investing in research and development and growing more with less water,” Minister Littleproud said.
“This dividend can be locked in by Parliament now - not just through yet another ‘rolled gold promise’ by Labor before an election which would be broken after the election.
“This is the latest in a long history of Labor attacks on country people.
"Labor butchered the agriculture portfolio when last in government and was also found to have misused its own Regional Development Australia Fund.
“The ANAO found Labor made 74 decisions which ignored the recommendations of its department’s own panel and that 'such decisions were largely at the expense of projects located in electorates held by the Coalition'.
“We’ve already delivered $1.8 billion to support farmers now – this package is about locking in funding to be prepared for droughts to come.”
“Our Liberal-National Government developed a clear, effective and fiscally sustainable plan to support regional communities struggling with the effects of drought,” Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said.
"Country people across Australia cannot trust Bill Shorten. His latest weak and short sighted decision to try and block the Future Drought Fund legislation in the Senate is the latest manifestation of that,” he said.
For Minister Cormann: Karen Wu - 0428 350 139
For Minister Littleproud: Les White - 0409 805 122