Commission appeal for farmers afflicted by ongoing drought
The Catholic Justice and Peace Commission of Brisbane has appealed for understanding and concrete support for Queensland farming communities still in the grip of drought.
Executive Officer Peter Arndt said many people are not aware that drought is still afflicting pastoral areas of Queensland and that farmers and communities in these regions are struggling.
"The recent interest rate rise announced by the Reserve Bank of Australia will make things even more difficult for many Queensland farmers," Mr Arndt said.
"Good rain in southern Australia may be making things better for farmers down south, but the combined effect of drought, increases in interest rates, a rising dollar and increased costs is putting enormous pressure on many Queensland farmers," he said.
"The announcement by Warren Truss, the Federal Agriculture Minister, of a National Drought Review is welcome because it will assess the adequacy of the various forms of drought assistance available to farmers," he said.
"The on-going stress of this situation robs farmers and people in rural communities of their dignity and this is simply not just," he said.
Mr Arndt has written to Mr Truss urging him to look for ways in which the Federal Government can help Queensland farmers affected by drought immediately.
Appeal for Support for Farming Communities Affected by Drought (Catholic Justice and Peace Commission, Archdiocese of Brisbane 17/11/03)
Queensland Government: Drought - managing the tough times together
Minister Truss announces drought review panel (Press Release, Federal Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry 9/11/03)
Catholic Justice and Peace Commission, Brisbane
19 Nov 2003