Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry has defended drought affected farmers who have been criticised on social media
Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry has defended drought affected farmers who have been criticised on social media Chris Ison

Landry defends farmers attacked by social media "sledgers"

MICHELLE Landry has lashed out at those criticising drought affected farmers.

The Federal Member for Capricornia addressed comments on news social media sites where people are apparently "sledging" those who have been impacted by the disaster.

"These social media junkies are asking why farmers should get special attention while American-owned-and-backed corporations like Holden, or others like SPC, owned by world soft drink giant Coca Cola, won't get taxpayers money," the MP said.

"The difference is our mum and dad farmers are suffering from a severe weather disaster and need help. Farmers are suffering dreadfully.

"Their wives and children are suffering, their livestock are suffering, and some farmers, tragically, are taking their own lives.

"We help in other weather-related disasters, like cyclones or floods, and even send aid overseas, so why shouldn't we be helping our farmers?"

Her comments come after the first party room meeting for The Nationals on Thursday, which Ms Landry said spent about 75% of the time discussing the drought.

She said the National Party fully supports Agricultural Minister Barnaby Joyce who will take feedback from the meeting and discuss strategies at a cabinet meeting next week.

National leader Warren Truss said the meeting canvassed a range of assistance options to help farmers in these extremely difficult times.

"This is a natural disaster of major proportions and it will require governments to respond as they do for other natural disasters like floods, fires and cyclones," he said.

"Some regions are seeing total crop failures.

"The absence of feed and surface water is creating a crisis for livestock producers.

"Lack of income in the farm sector is being felt in country towns and regional businesses who report declining sales, growing debt and reduced profitability."

He also appealed for banks to be patient with their farm customers.

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