Primary Industry Minister Monty House has approved and supported the applications for exceptional and special circumstances funding, which have been forwarded to Federal Agriculture Minister Warren Truss.
The final applications for assistance required up-to-date information relating to the State’s grain harvest to allow the Federal Government to accurately assess the impact of this year’s drought and the after-effects of frost and flood damage from the 1998 and 1999 seasons.
Mr House said both he and AGWEST personnel would be on a 24-hour stand-by to ensure that any further details the Federal Agriculture Minister and his staff required were made available to them to ensure that no delays occurred in the
“The seriousness of the situation confronting Western Australian farmers was outlined to the acting Prime Minister John Anderson on his recent visit to WA in a professional and detailed manner at both the Katanning and Albany meetings,”Mr House said.
“A delegation, representing farmers and local government authorities worst affected by the adverse season conditions, met the Acting Prime Minister in Albany and this was in addition to other individual approaches during his visit.”
Eric Charlton, chairman of the Seasonal Advisory Committee, together with Mr House, will be attending a second meeting of local shires in Lake Grace on Wednesday, January 24, to outline the specifics of the exceptional circumstances and special assistance submissions and the continuing effects of the critical financial situation in rural communities.
Mr Charlton said it was important and timely for farming families to re-evaluate their current business structure, including farm ownership and other off farm assets. This would ensure that there would be no impediments to families receiving much-needed assistance following the outcome of the submissions.
Mr House said he strongly urged the Federal Government to seriously consider the special assistance submission and the State’s exceptional circumstances application concurrently as a matter of urgency.
“It is of the utmost importance, now more than ever, that our Western Australian Federal politicians fight for this State’s farmers to ensure that they receive the much needed support they deserve from the Federal Government,” the Minister said.
Julie Cole 9481 2044