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‘No cuts to the NDIS’: Senator Williams confirms NDIS money won’t be ‘re-purposed’ into drought fund

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A cash injection in the form of a $5 billion drought future fund has been unveiled by the Morrison Government, amid a suite of newly announced measures to drought-proof the country.

With the big dry paralysing drought-ravaged farmers across Australia, the Prime Minister confirmed an initial $3.9 billion commitment will be made into the fund, with a view to support investment in drought preventative projects, infrastructure and research. This figure is expected to grow to $5 billion by 2028, unlocking $100 million a year from July 2020.

A set of other, tangential measures have also been announced to assist farmers, including an online farmer support hub and a voucher scheme to give regional drought-stricken towns an economic boost.

Senator John Williams says the bid to facilitate long-term sustainability and vision in Australia’s drought policy is a worthy pursuit.

“There’s a long way to go to breaking this drought,” he tells Michael McLaren.

“It’s very widespread. We need a lot of rain to break it and the day it breaks you can bet the next day is a day closer to the next drought.”

“So this is therefore for the future, to help people prepare for future droughts and have the infrastructure preparation well in place so the next drought won’t hurt so much.”

“I think it’s a good plan.”

Williams went on to dispel speculation the Government is “re-purposing” funds meant for the NDIS to pay for the drought relief package.

“It’s out of the Building Australia Future Fund which has been dormant since 2014 to 2015, that’s where it’s coming from.”

“Certainly no cutting to the NDIS, it’s certainly not out of that fund at all.”

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