The rain event at the end of March and more recent soaking storms over the Sunshine Coast have been welcomed by Federal Member for Fairfax, Clive Palmer.
But with farmers and primary producers suffering due to the drought conditions that have gripped the region throughout the traditional wet season, Mr Palmer said government must react faster to provide drought assistance to those in need.
In February this year Mr Palmer wrote to the Queensland Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, John McVeigh, requesting immediate support for struggling farmers who were ineligible for automatic assistance due to the region not being drought declared.
On March 7th drought conditions were finally declared and emergency aid made available to a further 15 shires in the state.
Mr Palmer has also tabled a Private Member’s Bill to federal parliament calling for a joint parliamentary committee to investigate establishing an Australia Fund. One of the fund’s primary functions will be to provide urgent assistance to businesses and individuals adversely affected by natural disasters.
“The recent rainfall has provided much-needed relief for the region and like everyone else I was delighted to see it,” Mr Palmer said.
“This year’s drought conditions have caused hardship once again for many people and we must react more quickly to the needs of those people.
“Government red tape hinders and slows the aid process down considerably. The introduction of an Australia Fund would circumvent government bureaucracy and get vital assistance to people much faster,” Mr Palmer said.