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PM’s drought plan won’t help farmers long term

Media Release
Rachel Siewert 26 Feb 2014

The Australian Greens have welcomed increased drought support for farmers, but say action on global warming must be part of any effort to protect rural communities. The Greens have announced a plan to support farmers facing global warming in the long term.

"The biggest challenge facing Australian farmers is the Abbott government's denial of global warming," Greens Leader Christine Milne said.

"Tony Abbott and Barnaby Joyce insist that it is something that cannot be planned for. They do not understand drought.

"The Greens support urgent financial support for farmers and welcome the provision of crucial mental health services to regional areas, but Tony Abbott's plan won't help farmers in the long term.

"Drought fuelled by global warming is not a one-off problem. The future of farming families depends on addressing our changing climate within any drought package," said Senator Milne.

"It is wrong for the government to suggest that droughts cannot be planned for, or that we aren't going to see longer and harder droughts," Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens agriculture spokesperson said today.

"The Greens are proposing a stronger and permanent disaster resilience fund that would do more to help drought affected farmers than one-off debt relief.

"Any drought plan needs to help the farmers struggling today and ensure that there is a long term strategy in place to prepare for the reality of a warmer, drier climate.

"Just last week, the CSIRO warned that changes to rainfall were occurring faster than anticipated and that this could create significant challenges for farmers and growers.

"The CSIRO has said climate trends will transform agricultural regions, so we need a response that will transform agriculture.

"Now is the time to invest in the knowledge and innovation we need to sustain agricultural productivity, regional jobs and food security long into the future," Senator Siewert concluded.

Click Here to read more about the Greens' plan for a disaster resilience fund.

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