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Hope for those hit by drought in Central Queensland

Hope for those hit by drought in Central Queensland.
Hope for those hit by drought in Central Queensland. Rebecca Hafner

FOR some drought-affected graziers, the situation is deteriorating by the day.

But the announcement of the Federal Governments drought package worth $320 million provides hope.

The package includes fortnightly welfare assistance, concessional loans and increased mental health services.

A majority of the funds, estimated at $280 million, is to go towards increasing access to government-backed loans.

Barcaldine Mayor Rob Chandler said concessional loans are a good start.

"Some people are in deep," Cr Chandler said.

"With this announcement people can breathe a little easier."

The package means graziers will be able to access five-year concessional loans at a rate of four percent up to the value of $1 million.

And, they will be able to access a fortnightly farm household allowance, even if they have total net farm assets of up to $2.5 million.

AgForce chief executive officer Charles Burke said the package reflects the government's awareness of the financial and personal impacts of this drought.

 

"We welcome the announcement and government's recognition," said Mr Burke.

"It is vitally important that these funds are now distributed as soon as possible."

 

Isaac Regional Council Deputy Mayor and landholder Dale Appleton said that it is important to take measures before the drought situation becomes so dire.

"We need consistent preparation for droughts," Cr Appleton said.

"It's especially important with water infrastructure."

Cr Appleton said red tape has been a problem for producers accessing assistance in the past.

"To get the money out we need clear and simple paper work."


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