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Farmers welcome review into drought-proofing pilot

2 September 2011

The National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) has today welcomed the release of the review into the drought pilot currently underway in Western Australia.

“The NFF has long stated the need for a rethink of the way Australia prepares for and deals with drought. Some eighteen months ago we first called for a pilot of drought policy and we are pleased to see further progress made in this area with the release of the pilot review,” NFF President Jock Laurie said.

“For the first time in many months, drought has this week been back in the headlines in the eastern states with news that parts of NSW have slipped back into drought.

“Meanwhile in the west, graziers and pastoralists are just starting to recover from prolonged drought conditions.

“The fact that our weather is so variable further confirms the need for drought management and preparedness reforms to be in place before the next drought hits.

“The plan the NFF put to Government in 2010, which helped form the basis of the WA trial, was about drought-proofing farms by investing upfront in on-farm climate adaptation and mitigation strategies.

“In doing so, we hoped to reduce the strain on farmers and taxpayers during future droughts.

“Drought is, and always has been, a reality in Australia. This pilot of drought policy is about seeking proactive solutions to drought-proof Australia through management and preparedness, so that when the next big dry hits, farmers and communities are better prepared to cope.

“This is a critical policy area for our farmers and Australian agriculture as a whole and the findings of today’s review are an important contribution to the ongoing debate on drought policy reform.

“The NFF will consider the findings of the review carefully and continue to work collaboratively with the Federal Government to ensure positive solutions to drought are secured in the interests of all Australian farmers,” Mr Laurie concluded.

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