Australia's Turnbull: 'Now we are the land of droughts'

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has announced a drought relief package for farmers

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has announced a drought relief package for

"You put the food on our tables, the fiber that goes on our backs, and we have your back", he told reporters at a farm in the eastern state of New South Wales (NSW), 99 percent of which is officially in drought.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Sunday announced a A$190 million (€121 million, $140.6 million) aid package for farmers battling dry conditions in what the government called "one of the worst droughts of the past century".

The government is giving eligible farmers cash payments of up to $12,000 in two installments.

"The forecasts are not always right as we know, but it looks tough and the croppers look like they won't get a winter crop in in New South Wales", he told Triple M. "My great-grandfather settled on this land in 1901, and he never had to remove cattle from the paddocks over there", she says pointing to the west.

"It is created to keep body and soul together, not created to pay for fodder", Mr Turnbull said on Monday.

"The Farm Household Allowance has helped nearly 8000 of Australia's approximately 80,000 farmers over the past four years, as we've invested $230 million", Minister Littleproud said.

He reaffirmed Australia's commitment to reducing carbon emissions after former deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce said the government's action would do nothing to stop droughts.

"It will have no difference on the climate whatsoever - zero, zip, nothing".

The National Farmers Federation president is welcoming extra Commonwealth funding for drought-stricken farmers - but concedes it's not yet clear whether it will be enough.

Ms Simpson said Australia needed to understand the effects of climate change to continue as a world leader.

"We are, as we have all said, the land of droughts and flooding rains, but we haven't had a drought this bad for a very, very long time, since the Bureau of Meteorology says 1965.

They are not financial advisers, they are local people with sound financial knowledge who can work closely with individual farmers to help them work through their options and make applications for any of the State or Australian Government initiatives and concessional loans".

Their concerns have been echoed by NSW agriculture minister Niall Blair, who is anxious attention on farmers shooting animals or leaving them to starve will undermine Australia's standing as a meat-producing nation.

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