Prime Minister Scott Morrison says all options are on the table when it comes to drought relief and drought recovery measures.
Mr Morrison has been in western Queensland today where he visited the Tully family property, Bunginderry, 80km west of Quilpie, as part of a one day drought tour with Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud and Major General Stephen Day who has been tasked with overseeing the federal government’s drought measures.
When asked if farmers could expect to see direct subsidies, for infrastructure such as silos, water facilities and hay sheds, the Prime Minister said the federal government was already providing the Farm Household Allowance.
“But where there is a problem and where we think there is a solution that requires that type of support then we will do it,” he said.
“We will look at every option. The drought package is an ongoing thing. It doesn’t just get announced one day and that’s it. It goes on as long as the drought goes on and we need the ideas to keep coming.”
Mr Morrison spoke directly with fifth generation Quilpie graziers, Stephen and Annabel Tully who said more assistance was needed for families forced to send their children to boarding school.
The Tully family has five children, three of whom are at boarding school in Brisbane while the youngest two are educated via the School of Distance Education from Bunginderry.
Ms Tully became emotional when she spoke of the pressures on families trying to keep kids at school.
“I guess the now the challenge is now do you keep them in boarding school or do they not be educated,” she said.
Exclusion fencing also emerged as a key issue, with Mr Tully reinforcing the need for more assistance to build fences to not only restore the sheep and wool industries in regions such as Quilpie but also reinvigorate rural towns.
The Prime Minister is now attending a meeting with locals in the Quilpie Shire Hall.
More to come.