Photo: Louise Kennerley, Sydney Morning Herald
The Federal Member for Gilmore, Fiona Phillips MP, has slammed the Morrison Government’s decision not to include Gilmore councils in its Drought Communities Programme Extension.
On Friday, Mr Morrison flew into the country to announce a further $100 million to assist drought affected farmers in 13 additional eligible councils. But in a decision Mrs Phillips has labelled heartless and tone-deaf, Kiama, Shoalhaven and Eurobodalla local government areas have been left out of the much-hyped drought package.
“I am shocked that the government has told farmers in the Kiama, Shoalhaven and Eurobodalla council areas that they don’t deserve drought assistance,”
“This is a cruel blow to our struggling farmers,“
“The government likes to pretend that it cares about rural and regional Australia, but once again this package has shown Mr Morrison’s motivations are purely political,” Member for Gilmore, Fiona Phillips said.
While the government tries to blame public servants and the Bureau of Meteorology, the decision on which councils will be eligible appears to be focused more on the government’s election commitments than on helping farmers suffering from the drought.
“Our dairy industry is in crisis and the Liberal-National Government has once again wasted an opportunity to provide real support to South Coast farmers,”
“This is the same Prime Minister that came to the South Coast and wouldn’t even meet with local farmers,”
“Our dairy farmers are being paid less than the cost of producing their milk, but the Prime Minister continually ignores their pleas for help,” Mrs Phillips said.
South Coast dairy farmers deserve a government that genuinely invests in them – not one that makes flashy announcements with no real substance where it counts.
“Our community cannot afford to wait for Mr Morrison to wake up to the plight of our farmers – we need investment now,”
“Today I will be writing to the Prime Minister and the Minister to ask them to reverse this cruel decision and provide farmers on the South Coast with the support they so desperately need,” Fiona Phillips said.