1 July 2010
Farmers across Australia will be watching closely as the trial of new drought support measures in Western Australia begins today.
The trial covers around half of the state and represents a fundamental shift in the way governments help farmers prepare for future challenges.
Details of the trial were announced in May at a Perth grain storage facility, by Federal Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Tony Burke and WA Minister for Agriculture and Food Terry Redman.
Sixteen farmer information sessions will be held across the trial region, to help ensure farmers have the opportunity to ask questions and to understand the new package of measures.
The first four information sessions will be held next week:
- Tuesday 6 July 2010 – Gascoyne Junction
- Wednesday 7 July 2010 – Paraburdoo and Wiluna
- Thursday 8 July 2010 - Meekatharra
The remaining sessions will be held through to the first week of August.
From today farmers and community groups can also access full guidelines and application forms for the various measures under the trial.
“This is a milestone for the farming sector in Australia which is facing major challenges including a changing climate and reduced water reliability,” Mr Burke said.
“The next 12 months are about testing a new approach and talking to farmers and their communities afterwards to see what they thought.
“We want to get it right before we ask farmers to work with us on rolling out a new national system.”
Farmers can register their interest in attending an information session by calling the Drought Assistance Hotline on 13 23 16.
Further details on information session locations and timing is available at www.daff.gov.au/droughtpilot.