Australia announces extra $140m aid for drought-hit farmers

The government media and charity organisations are getting behind farmers faced with a crippling drought. Image Emma Brancatisano

The government media and charity organisations are getting behind farmers faced with a crippling drought. Image Emma Brancatisano

Couples in a household will receive up to an additional $12,000 and single households will receive up to $7200. We admire their courage and we stand with them.

"They shouldn't feel as if they're a burden - they've paid plenty of taxes over the years, " Mr Kerin said.

"It is created to keep body and soul together, not created to pay for fodder", the Prime Minister said.

Farmers whose incomes have been cut drastically by the drought conditions can already receive some A$16,000 a year in unemployment benefits.

Even the NSW transport subsidy announced a week ago by the state government as part of its new suite of measures is pretty inadequate.

$11.4 million dollars will cover remote counselling sessions for farmers who need the services over Skype.

The NSW Farmers' Association and Queensland's AgForce both welcomed the federal government's announcement. You should never regard Australian farmers as being helpless at all in the face of the climate.

"A lot of farmers, we're using that a week", farmer Anto White from Belltrees in the Upper Hunter tells me.

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This increase will give farming families.

Mr Maudsley also commended the private sector organisations, charities, media outlets and individuals who had continued to provide support for drought-affected communities.

"The Eyre Peninsula has been severely affected, and livestock farmers in particular are having to make tough decisions, " Mr Whetstone said.

"We are, as we have all said, the land of droughts and flooding rains, but we haven't had a drought this bad for a very, very long time, since the Bureau of Meteorology says 1965".

National Farmers' Federation chief executive officer Tony Mahar said the Government's support was a step in the right direction, but added there was no silver bullet.

"(But) we haven't got the same urban or town water shortage challenges we had in the millennium drought", he told the ABC.

In June, Federal agriculture minister David Littleproud announced a review of the Farm Household Allowance, which provides help for farmers facing hardship during drought.

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