Aussie gov't boosts drought relief funding to 1.3 billion United States dollars

Australia pledges A$1.8 billion to help drought-stricken farmers

Turnbull also announced the appointment of recently retired Major General Stephen Day as National Drought Co-ordinator.

The total amount available for loans in any one year will also be doubled from $250 million to $500 million, according to News Corp.

He will work with government to facilitate coordination of service delivery, including the Drought Commissioner in NSW, Drought Commissioners in Queensland, the Farm Liaison Officer appointed by the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources and relevant agencies in other states.

The local councils will have access to a pool of $75 million to fund projects, including providing emergency water supplies.

In a video posted to his official Facebook page, Turnbull explained 60 councils will receive $1 million each from the federal government - 36 in NSW, 22 in Queensland, and two in Victoria - which can be spent on local infrastructures in the communities.

Farmers will immediately be able to deduct the costs for building new silos, hay sheds, or other storage structures, rather than let it depreciate over three years.


Prime Minister Turnbull said the measures would help farmers boost their resilience.

It will increase economic activity in drought-stricken communities and provide farmers with the opportunity to better drought-proof their properties.

Reserve Bank of Australia governor Philip Lowe says the drought is having a negative impact on the economy, telling a parliamentary committee on Friday that the dry conditions will limit farm production. The first five years of these loans will remain interest only.

"All measures that recognise farmers are business people are welcome".

Mr Guerin thanked all Australians for their continued support of drought-affected farmers through donations to charities and the various appeals that have been established, including the Farm Aid Telethons being held in Warwick and Dubbo today.

Turnbull said the new funding was in response to feedback given by farmers and the wider community.

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