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 Water - Drought proofing Australia

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Join date : 2018-07-17

PostSubject: Water - Drought proofing Australia   Fri 26 Oct 2018, 9:19 am

Back in the 2001 election PHON had ideas and policy that came under the Watering Australia policies.  It was envisioned that we would drought proof Australia for the future.

But no major party took up the ideas but 17 years later...  ta-daaaaa...


Morrison government to establish $5 billion future fund for drought resilience


By Fergus Hunter
25 October 2018 — 11:55pm


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The government will pour $3.9 billion into a new fund to mitigate the devastating impacts of drought, in a major pitch to struggling regional communities that Prime Minister Scott Morrison says is "putting money aside for non-rainy days".
The Drought Future Fund – to be announced on Friday – will provide grants totalling up to $100 million a year from 2020 onwards by drawing on the investment earnings from the initial capital injection.
The pool is projected to grow to $5 billion within a decade, and will be managed by the Future Fund board of guardians, which is led by former Howard government treasurer Peter Costello.
In a statement ahead of the national drought summit in Canberra on Friday, Mr Morrison said the government would finance key water infrastructure and drought resilience projects as the fund swells into a substantial reserve to deploy during spells of dry weather.



Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack. Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

"This funding will support farmers and their local communities when it’s not raining. It guarantees drought support for the men and women who drive our nation," Mr Morrison said.

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The new fund is part of a three-pronged policy response that includes $1.8 billion of already-announced measures to address the drought gripping eastern Australia. The plan also includes a stronger focus on economic and social recovery after it rains, and the creation of a long-term national drought strategy.

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Modelled on the Medical Research Future Fund established by the Abbott government, the drought fund will direct grants to a selection of farm, community, infrastructure, research and other projects.
Funding recipients will be revealed in the federal budget every May.
The initial $3.9 billion injection will be diverted from an existing Building Australia infrastructure fund – also managed by the Future Fund. The policy will require legislation and the government will immediately seek Labor's support.
The criteria for drought resilience projects eligible for funding is yet to be developed and will be based partly on discussions at Friday's summit at Old Parliament House in Canberra.
Mr Morrison, who has elevated drought policy as a priority for the Coalition government, said he had been struck by "strength, resilience and hope" of rural and regional families and declared his approach would be the same.
"Deal with the here and now, but also make sure we plan for the future," he said.
"The challenges of drought vary from farm to farm, district to district, town to town and we continually need to adapt and build capacity – the Future Drought Fund gives us this opportunity.”
Former deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce, who was appointed special drought envoy in August, said the summit needed to finalise policies that would make a material difference.
"You're never going to totally protect anybody from everything in life but you can mitigate the effects," Mr Joyce told Fairfax Media.
The former Nationals leader said the government should back infrastructure and economic projects that protect "terribly vulnerable" people in rural communities, including retailers whose trade suffers during drought.
National Farmers' Federation president Fiona Simson said the approach to drought from all levels of government had traditionally been flawed and welcomed the summit as a chance to get it right.
"Now is a perfect opportunity to fix the issues that have been identified and to look at a better path forward," she said, urging support for a nationally coordinated strategy.
"I hope from the summit we have a real resolve from government at all levels to work with industry to put in place in some modern drought policy."
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