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PM’s DROUGHT FUNDING ANNOUNCEMENT COMES FROM FUTURE DROUGHT FUND LABOR VOTED AGAINST

Leader of The Nationals David Littleproud said today’s drought announcement from the Prime Minister in Tamworth is part of the annual $100 million dividend from the Future Drought Fund Labor voted against in 2019.
“While we welcome the investment announced, this is not new money,” Mr Littleproud said.
“It comes from the $5 billion fund the Coalition created during one of our nation’s worst droughts.
“But what was most appalling was that Labor voted against it when regional communities were on their knees. It’s important now that the government gives clarity on where the balance of that $100 million dividend will be spent for this year, as we head into an El Niño cycle.”
Mr Littleproud added the former Coalition Government also committed over $11 billion to drought measures, but the plan was not just ‘set and forget’.
“There was supposed to be a review of the plan in 2022-23 and it is disappointing the government won’t finalise a plan until 2024, as it leaves uncertainty for communities.”
Mr Littleproud said he was extremely proud of the fund, which provided secure, continuous financial support, making $100 million available each year for drought resilience.
Since its commencement in 2020, hundreds of millions have gone into delivering economic, social and environmental benefits for better climate information, better planning, better practices and better prepared communities.
This year’s Labor Budget also saw the continual slashing of water infrastructure funding the former Coalition Government committed to, with almost $7 billion in crucial dams and water projects now cut since Labor took office. This includes Hells Gate Dam, Paradise Dam, Urannah Dam, Big Rocks Weir, Emu Swamp Dam, Lower Burdekin, Dungowan Dam, Manton Dam and the Don Irrigation Scheme.
“Labor has turned its back on regional Australia and its water security needs for future droughts. I am proud of the former Coalition Government’s legacy and hope Labor will rethink its decision to scrap water projects this weekend at the Bush Summit.”

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