Federal Minister for Drought and Emergency Management visits Sunshine Coast
After a summer of devastating fires and drought in many parts of Queensland, Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management the Hon David Littleproud MP visited the Sunshine Coast today to speak with locals at a Fisher Drought and Fire Forum. The forum, held at the Beerwah Community Hall, was organised by Federal Member for Fisher Andrew Wallace.
Mr Wallace said that the forum was an important opportunity for Sunshine Coast locals to understand the full impact and scope of this summer’s events.
“Despite recent rains, this summer’s bush fires, and the long drought which continues to affect large parts of Queensland have been truly devastating for so many communities. Almost 3,000 homes have been destroyed by fire, and more than 13,000 farming families are receiving drought support. The emotional and psychological impacts have been unimaginable. Mr Wallace said.
“In total, the Government is investing more than $9 billion in response to drought and fire, including here on the Coast, and I’m glad that our community had the opportunity today to find out how that investment is making a difference all over the country.” he said.
Speaking at the Forum, Minister Littleproud said that the Morrison Government is supporting communities in the most drought and fire affected agricultural regions of Australia with direct financial assistance, and by investing in economy-stimulating local infrastructure initiatives and drought resilience.
“This summer’s fires came on the back of prolonged drought and have been a devastating blow to farmers that have held on for so long.”
“Helping farmers get back on their feet also helps communities get back on theirs.
We will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with impacted communities to ensure they receive the best possible support.”
The event attracted more than 100 attendees from all over the Coast who asked questions and described their experiences of drought and bushfires on the Sunshine Coast.
“There has been no busier Minister in the Government over the past six months than Minister Littleproud, and I am grateful to him for taking the time to visit the Sunshine Coast and listen to the experiences of our community. I’m sure that the Minister will take our local stories and use them to help inform the Government’s policies into the future.” Mr Wallace said.
On the Sunshine Coast the Morrison Government made Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payments of $1000 per eligible adult and $400 per eligible child available to bushfire affected residents. It provided $1 million in funding to Sunshine Coast Council to rebuild vital infrastructure and strengthen community resilience. The Government also made grants of up to $75,000 available directly to affected Sunshine Coast farmers to assist with their bushfire recovery and ensured local impacted farmers can access low interest Disaster Assistance Loans of up to $500,000 to support their recovery journey.
Further information on the Government’s support for bushfire recovery can be found at https://www.bushfirerecovery.gov.au/, while details of the Government’s support for drought affected communities is available at https://www.agriculture.gov.au/ag-farm-food/drought/drought-policy