Media release

Drought taskforce an insult to struggling farmers: Clive Palmer

Federal leader of the United Australia Party, Clive Palmer, has blasted the new drought finance taskforce to be chaired by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg as an insult to struggling farmers.

“People doing it tough in the bush want action now, not a slow, drawn out response through yet another hopeless government think tank.’’ Mr Palmer said.

“And to make matters worse, the committee will be made up of bankers who have absolutely no idea how to treat working Australians including our brave farmers properly, as the royal commission has shown.

“This taskforce of for PR purposes only – politicians and bankers trying to present themselves as champions of the bush, when they are really just champions of greed and serving their own self interests.

“If the Government was serious about helping farmers it would release funds and resources immediately, not form a committee to “consider and respond”. What a bunch of bench warmers,’’ Mr Palmer said.

“Committees and taskforces are a useless waste of time. The Government should get of its backside and provide immediate financial assistance including livestock feed to all farmers needing help at this time.

“The Government can open its coffers immediately to help farmers and save livestock. The Government needs to do whatever is required and do it now.

“Unless a swift and meaningful response is delivered to our farmers, Frydenberg and the Liberals will be obliterated at the next election.”

Mr Palmer said Australian farmers would have had the drought assistance they needed promptly and efficiently if the proposed ‘Australia Fund’ had been set up in 2014.

As the Member for Fairfax Mr Palmer introduced a private member’s bill to federal parliament seeking to establish an ‘Australia Fund’ to support the country’s rural and manufacturing industries with immediate assistance following natural disasters like drought, bushfires and floods.

“It’s about time we looked after our people properly. The United Australia Party wants to introduce the Australia Fund because we know the next natural disaster is only around the corner.

“Our party has policies that allow everyday Australians to support each other. We want to help our fellow citizens when they need it most because it’s in the national interest and the right thing to do,” Mr Palmer said.