Ministers for the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities The Hon Michael McCormack MP Deputy Prime MinisterMinister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie Minister for Regional ServicesMinister for SportMinister for Local Government and Decentralisation The Hon Alan Tudge MP Minister for Cities, Urban Infrastructure and Population The Hon Sussan Ley MP Assistant Minister for Regional Development and Territories The Hon Andrew Broad MP Former Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister The Hon Scott Buchholz MP Assistant Minister for Roads and Transport The Hon Barnaby Joyce MPFormer Deputy Prime MinisterFormer Minister for Infrastructure and Transport The Hon Dr John McVeigh MPFormer Minister for Regional Development, Territories and Local Government The Hon Keith Pitt MPFormer Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister The Hon Damian Drum MPFormer Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister Senator the Hon Fiona Nash Former Minister for Regional DevelopmentFormer Minister for Local Government and Territories The Hon Darren Chester MP Former Minister for Infrastructure and TransportFormer A/g Minister for Regional DevelopmentFormer A/g Minister for Local Government and Territories The Hon Warren Truss MP Former Deputy Prime Minister Former Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development The Hon Paul Fletcher MP Former Minister for Urban Infrastructure and Cities The Hon Jamie Briggs MP Former Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development

Hitting the road in support of drought-affected communities

Media Release

BM001/2019

10 January 2019

The Liberal and Nationals Government is partnering with NBN Co to help farmers and local businesses in drought-affected areas access support.

Minister for Regional Services, Sport, Local Government and Decentralisation Bridget McKenzie said the Liberal and Nationals Government would be using NBN Co’s Sky Muster satellite vehicles to provide a free WiFi service to assist in lodging online claims for drought assistance at outreach events across New South Wales.

“I urge anyone affected by the drought to attend local outreach activities, where a variety of support services will provide representatives to assess individual situations and provide advice,” Minister McKenzie said.

“I also want to remind people who may be feeling the pinch at this time of year that there are a range of community mental health and telehealth services available to regional Australians to support them in this trying time.

“This outreach is about putting communities in touch with support networks such as Government agencies, charity groups and other organisations that can provide or facilitate crucial support services.

“Representatives from Australian Government agencies will be in attendance to provide assistance to enable people to access the range of support available.

“Representatives from the Salvation Army, St Vincent de Paul Society and Rotary Australia World Community Service have also been invited to attend to distribute a range of immediate support as part of the Government’s $30 million Drought Community Support Initiative for people across parts of drought-affected parts of Australia.”

The outreach will occur from mid-January through to March, kicking off from 15 January in West Wyalong, Condobolin, Parkes and Forbes.

“People are doing it tough, and some are reluctant to ask for help because they think other people are worse off than them, but there is plenty of support to go around,” Minister McKenzie said.

“We have established a $5 billion Future Drought Fund that guarantees support against future droughts faced by farmers and communities in rural and regional Australia along with boosting the Drought Communities Program and increased the number of local councils that can apply for funding up to 81. This provides an opportunity for each of these communities to invest $1 million to stimulate their local economies.

“Information will also be available about the Government’s range of other support measures, including the Farm Household Allowance, tax assistance measures, farm investment and drought loans, employment assistance, insurance rebates and the Rural Financial Counselling Service.

“The importance of better regional telecommunications cannot be over-estimated. Since being elected, our government prioritised the roll-out of the NBN in regional Australia with around 98% of regional homes, farms and businesses now able to connect or under construction.

“It is fantastic to see NBN Co getting behind drought-affected communities as the company continues to rollout Sky Muster satellite internet to regional areas – over 93,000 active services to date.”

More information on the Liberal and Nationals Government’s drought support initiatives is available at www.agriculture.gov.au/ag-farm-food/drought.

 

Outreach session details: Location

 

LGA

 

Date

West Wyalong

Bland

15-Jan

Condobolin

Lachlan

16-Jan

Parkes AM/ Forbes PM

Parkes/Forbes

17-Jan

Scone

Upper Hunter

5-Feb

Narrabri

Narrabri Shire

6-Feb

Mungindi

Moree Plains Shire

7-Feb

Walgett

Walgett Shire

12-Feb

Bourke

Bourke Shire

13-Feb

Brewarrina

Brewarrina Shire

14-Feb

Gunnedah

Gunnedah Shire

19-Feb

Dubbo

Dubbo Shire

20-Feb