Program to ease pain of drought proves popular

Program to ease pain of drought proves popular

Agribusiness
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MORE than 100 farmers in Western Australia have applied for income support as part of a trial of drought assistance reforms that has coincided with a poor season for the state's grain growers.

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MORE than 100 farmers in Western Australia have applied for income support as part of a trial of drought assistance reforms that has coincided with a poor season for the state's grain growers.

WA was chosen for the federal and state governments' $23 million drought reform trial earlier this year, because none of the state was then in drought. But in recent months, conditions have deteriorated.

Federal Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig will travel to WA soon to assess progress on the 12-month drought reform pilot, which aims to shift the approach of federal funding from crisis management to risk management, The Australian Financial Review reports.

He said the pilot was providing crucial support to farmers in hardship, helping with everyday costs such as grocery and household bills.

"I am encouraged by the early results of the trial and will continue to monitor the success of these new measures over the coming months in the lead-up to summer," Mr Ludwig said.

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