How drought relief actually ends up punishing Australian farmers

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has announced a drought relief package for farmers

Australia's Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has warned that the country has become a "land of drought" as he announced further measures to help stricken farmers.

"We have their back", Mr Turnbull said. "But we can ensure that farming families and their communities get all the support they need to get through the drought, recover and get back on their feet", he said in a statement.

"Australian farmers know they face the challenges of an unpredictable climate".

This increase will give farming families.

As drought hits hard in north-western NSW, kangaroos are swamping the township of Gunnedah in search of grass on front lawns and water from sprinklers. "When farmers do it well the whole nation benefits, when farmers do it tough, as they are now the whole nation suffers", he said during the press conference.

Turnbull also paid tribute to farmers for their resilience. The Australian Bureau of Meteorology says parts of Australia experienced the second-warmest summer (December-February) on record and have just been through one of the driest and warmest autumns (March-May) on record.

And look at the kinds of academic research we fund: $468,000 for the Australian National University to "investigate warfare in the ancient Tongan state through a study of earthwork fortifications" and $340,000 for the University of Wollongong to study how "socially engaged art" can "catalyse new dialogue between farmers, scientists, environmentalists and policy makers" on the Great Barrier Reef.

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"The money will help farmers deal with what are challenging times at the moment and help them manage and improve their production systems once we get through this drought".

"The Eyre Peninsula has been severely affected, and livestock farmers in particular are having to make tough decisions, " Mr Whetstone said.

His comments come as Agriculture Minister David Littleproud was slammed for claiming a connection between man-made climate change and the drought was a "big call".

Under the new arrangements farmers can now receive a fourth year of assistance from the FHA, when previously they could receive three years' of assistance.

McCormack echoed the prime minister and acknowledged the important role farmers have in the nation.

The Federal Government says another phase of drought support will be announced in coming weeks.

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