5 October 2010
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator Joe Ludwig, has visited Western Australian rural towns today to meet with farmers and to view the implementation of the drought pilot reform measures.
Minister Ludwig was accompanied by West Australian Minister Terry Redman MLA and WA Senator Glenn Sterle to visit the drought pilot region.
“It’s great to be here in the West speaking with farmers who are participating in the drought reform pilot. The pilot continues to gain interest, as people realise its potential to improve the system for farmers,” Minister Ludwig said.
“I understand that there are many parts of West Australia experiencing below average rainfall and today I’ve seen first-hand how this affects entire communities."
“I’m particularly concerned about the lack of rainfall in the southwest agricultural and pastoral regions and the impact of dry conditions on farming families and their businesses.”
In Mukinbudin, the Minister participated in a forum with a group of producers participating in the drought pilot. The Minister also visited a farm in the Lake Grace area and will take part in a drought pilot workshop later today.
The Gillard Government, in partnership with the Western Australian Government, is conducting the pilot to trial new measures that came out of the national review of drought policy.
The measures are designed to move farmers from a crisis management approach to risk management and provide more effective and equitable social support for farming families and rural communities.
“Providing support for our farmers in crisis remains a priority for the Gillard Government, and we’re also investing in measures that will help our farmers put plans in place before a crisis hits.”
The pilot will operate in parts of Western Australia until 30 June 2011. In all other parts of Australia, the government’s Exceptional Circumstances arrangements continue to apply.
The pilot will be reviewed in 2011 to inform further government consideration of national drought policy reform.Further details on the drought pilot are available at www.daff.gov.au/droughtpilot.