‘They’re really doing it tough’: Senator Bridget McKenzie on Government’s $75 million drought package
A $75 million funding injection for regional, rain-deprived areas has been announced by the Morrison Government.
Small business in drought-stricken communities is starting to struggle as the drought rolls on, with farmers spending everything they have on combating the drought. There’s little room for discretionary spending, leaving local business with next to no cash inflow.
To circumvent this, eligible councils will receive a grant of up to $1 million to fund one or more local projects under the new package. It’s hoped this will stimulate and relaunch drought-embattled local economies, revitalising jobs and profitability.
“I think our farmers have been at the front line of the drought effort,” Senator Bridget McKenzie tells Luke Grant.
“But now as the drought lingers on, it’s important to support those drought-impacted communities. The small businesses that support our agricultural industry more broadly are really doing it tough.”
“The cash flow has dried up. Many of these businesses employ countless in these drought-affected communities.”
“So we want to make sure local councils are developing projects, that they will be employing locals, sourcing the material for the completion of these projects through local suppliers and keeping that money going through these communities.”
Luke Grant agrees with the plan, but is asking why drought-proofing infrastructure and water harvesting isn’t more of a priority.
“Drought is a perennial thing. It’s predictable for Australia. It will come and it will go. Yet every time it inevitably presents itself, we’re seemingly caught unprepared.”
Click PLAY below to listen to the full interview: