Drought assistance boosted for southwest farmers
HELP is still at hand for southwest graziers affected by drought, in the form of $3000 cash grants.
Despite some quenching rain around the region earlier in the year, every shire in southwest Queensland – including Paroo, Murweh, Quilpie, Maranoa, Balonne and Bulloo – remains drought declared, and as such, locals are entitled to the readily available funds earmarked for the ag industry.
St Vincent de Paul is distributing the financial assistance across the region, but Vinnies CEO Toby O’Connor is quick to point out the money isn’t charity, and they are looking for many more people to send it to.
“We have a lot of money to give out to folks, and so far we have only hit about 90 applicants in the Paroo Shire,” he said.
“There are definitely more folk out there, and perhaps the biggest challenge is that people on farms are pretty independent and don’t necessarily want to be drawing down on charity.
“But this is actually government money, you are fully entitled to it.”
The money is part of a federal drought support package, the Drought Community Support Initiative (round two), announced last year.
Farmers, farm workers, suppliers and contractors are all able to apply for the grants, to which the federal government has committed an extra $82.75 million this year.
Those in the southwest can make their application online through the Vinnies drought assistance website.