Should it really be this hard for our drought-stricken farmers to get support? 130



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The Boulia, Carpentaria and Quilpie Shires in remote Queensland have been lobbying hard for support from the Government for months having been denied assistance under the community programs offered by the Government but this week.  It has angered many for months, and finally, this week, Barnaby Joyce and Warren Truss have used their discretion to offer these areas the same eligibility for the Federal Government’s Drought Communities Program that has been offered to many surrounding areas.

The Boulia and Carpentaria Shires have qualified this week because of their rainfall circumstances, but Quilpie has had to be let into the program on a discretionary basis.

“Quilpie’s rainfall figures do not support the application on the basis of the one-in-20-year rainfall deficiency, but everyone who visits Quilpie comes back with the same report — that it is as bad as the neighbouring shires,” said Warren Truss.

A local farmer in the area posted this video on Facebook in late October showing the devastation in the region, in an attempt to raise the eyes of Australians to the plight of the farmers who are suffering so terribly.  It seems that the community’s ability to make a noise has had them heard, but today we have to ask…  should it really be this hard for our farmers to access support when there is so clearly a problem that needs assistance?

The ABC is reporting that the three shires can apply for up to $1.5 million for local infrastructure projects, to generate jobs and create greater economic stability.

Hi Sunrise team. I’m just a small town guy in western Queensland Quilpie to be precise, but all is not well out here atm. We’re all in an outlandish drought that threatens to cripple Australia to its knees. Just one little scenario for you to ponder; the live cattle exports to Chana I think off memory went through another critical stage a few days ago. I ask you this, where will the cattle come from? I would like to share a video I made just to give you a little idea of what it’s like out here and how the politicians make decisions without good reason. Just to Add Quilpie and Bullia Councils were for a third time knocked back for drought funding this week.

Posted by Ethan Crumblin on Friday, October 23, 2015

“[Quilpie] is entirely surrounded by shires that are declared for assistance under the drought communities program and we felt it was reasonable in those circumstances to exercise discretion and grant this assistance to Quilpie,” Mr Truss said.

It seems unfair that the Government put the community in this position when drought is causing so much hardship.

Mayor of Quilpie, Stuart Mackenzie spoke to the media of the process as long, arduous and disappointing, and said he was relieved to finally have eligibility approved.

“It has been extremely frustrating, because we were told in April that this money was coming and we had projects ready to go in July,” Mr Mackenzie said.

“Then we found out at the beginning of July that we weren’t eligible and our first feeling was it is just a mistake, [we thought] ‘obviously we will send in some rainfall figures and it will all be fixed up’.

“Four months went by and then we got the notification that we still weren’t eligible and that was really hard to take.”

Share your thoughts on how you think we should be supporting our farmers in drought stricken regions today.

Rebecca Wilson

Rebecca Wilson is the founder and publisher of Starts at Sixty. The daughter of two baby boomers, she has built the online community for over 60s by listening carefully to the issues and seeking out answers, insights and information for over 60s throughout Australia. Rebecca is an experienced marketer, a trained journalist and has a degree in politics. A mother of 3, she passionately facilitates and leads our over 60s community, bringing the community opinions, needs and interests to the fore and making Starts at Sixty a fun place to be.

  1. No it shouldn’t. If all our farmers pack it in we’ll be forced to eat imported food

  2. Why should it be so hard for the life blood of our country to get support,when this government gives money away to other countries and refugees lik there is no tomorrow.

  3. Please share with all your friends our farmers need our assistance why is it we give to overseas but our own have to grovel for assistance please share so we don’t lose any more lives

  4. The politicians that won’t lift a finger to help out our farmers are so low they could walk under a door with an umbrella up! The should all get their snouts out of the trough and Do Something!

    3 REPLY
    • Exactly what I was thinking. Shouldn’t we be giving aid to our own FIRST. The farmers feed the politicians too but they don’t seem to be able to acknowledge that.

    • I love your saying about walking under the door! I’ve never heard that before.
      Of course you are correct about the politicians. They want all the farmers off the land so they can mine it.

  5. Our government sold out to the UN. The UN wants farmers off the land unless they support UN sponsored growing methods, GM crops etc. Agenda 21, look it up. Our government is not really our government.

  6. These politicians forget where their food comes from just go to the supermarket there is plenty there if farmers get enough rain to grow their veges

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