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|Federal government’s response to the drought ...||1.01 MB|
The committee commenced this inquiry in November 2019 at a time when Australia was experiencing severe droughts—including the driest November across Australia on record. Despite the recent rain that some parts of Australia have received, the drought is far from over and recovery will take many years. On top of this, bushfires and the COVID-19 pandemic have brought added challenges to rural and regional communities already under pressure.
In delivering this report, the committee has reviewed the Australian Government’s drought response and identified a number of gaps that could be addressed to improve the ability of farmers, farm businesses and regional communities to withstand the impacts of drought and be prepared for and capable of managing through the next drought. These gaps include:
These issues cut across the suite of drought programs and measures. The committee has made several recommendations to enhance transparency, streamline application processes, ensure consistency of program design and eligibility criteria and improve communication and information sharing practices.
This report addresses the committee's terms of reference and comprises seven chapters, including this introductory chapter, with the remaining chapters set out as follows: