Federal Member for Wright Scott Buchholz and State Member for Lockyer, Jim McDonald are urging Lockyer Valley farmers to access $3,000 in cash support under the Drought Communities Support Initiative (DCSI), before the June 30 closing date.
Mr Buchholz said despite rains earlier in the year, the drought certainly had not broken and farmers and the agricultural sector were under pressure.
“We know many of our farmers are still doing it tough. While late last year and earlier this year, we saw a shift in the spotlight as a result of fires and now the coronavirus pandemic, the Morrison Government has not forgotten about our primary producers,” Mr Buchholz said.
“Despite some rains earlier in the year, which saw our beautiful Lockyer glowing green in some places – there’s been no sustained follow up rain.
“Our farmers are still feeling the enormous weight of the drought. They are carrying that burden in their overdraft accounts.
“And the lack of rain is extremely disappointing for farmers and growers. It adds to their burden and it continues to impact the Lockyer economy.
“By providing access to the $3,000 cash payments, we’re working to relieve some of those household pressures. To put food on the table, pay some bills and provide some wriggle room in household budgets,” Mr Buchholz said.
Jim McDonald, State Member for Lockyer said it was critical farmers were supported and urged all eligible farmers, workers in the agri-economy and rural industry suppliers to take advantage of available support and access the funds.
“I know these are extremely tough times, with the drought, fires and now COVID-19 – the economy has been hit three times over,” Mr McDonald said.
“But, support is available and there is absolutely no shame in accessing support when you need it.
“Farmers have been the backbone of our economy, our community – keeping many on their feet, in bad times.
“Now, it’s time for that to be returned to our farmers and their families. It’s the Australian way, help out your neighbour and mates.
“I encourage anyone, farmer or worker or contractor that is struggling from drought impacts, that thinks they are eligible to check it out,” Mr McDonald said.
Mr Buchholz said it had been a tough few years for those on the land and coupled with other measures and support, the cash payments were to help ease the pressure.
“Our farmers here in the Lockyer have come out of flood and drought before. They are so resilient. And I am confident that they’ll do it again with support. This time overcoming drought, fire and COVID-19.
The DCSI provides cash support to farmers, farm workers and suppliers in the Lockyer Valley region and is being distributed by the Salvation Army.
Support can be accessed by visiting the Salvation Army website at salvationarmy.org.au or by calling Jim McDonald’s office for assistance on 07 5351 6100.
Scott Buchholz MP – Scott O’Connell – 0413 424 384
Jim McDonald MP – (07) 5351 6100