Catholic lobby group urges long-term strategy to help farmers
PolMin yesterday noted Prime Minister Howard's visit to drought-stricken families in northern NSW, but stressed that the rural sector needs more than immediate financial assistance to protect its future.
"Farming families do need immediate financial assistance to get over the immediate financial hardships caused by the ongoing severe drought," said PolMin Coordinator Victoria Kearney. "However, financial assistance is a short-gap policy fix."
She said the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) must step in to take a more "policy-proactive" approach to the underlying issues of drought. COAG is due to meet in December.
Specifically Ms Kearney identified reform of reform of Australian Government's Water Reform Framework as a priority.
She said: "PolMin calls on the Commonwealth to review and reform the terms and conditions of the COAG's Water Reform agreement so that these fundamental social and economic issues are properly and appropriately addressed."
Department of Agriculture, Fisheries & Forestry - Natural Resource Management
Fed Govt may take full control of drought relief: PM (ABC)
As bad as it gets (Northern Daily Leader, Tamworth)
Church leaders declare Sunday a day of prayer for rain (27/11/02)
Impact of the Big Dry (Aurora)
28 Nov 2002