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Australia's Turnbull: 'Now we are the land of droughts'
09 August 2018, 02:22 | Justin Tyler
The government media and charity organisations are getting behind farmers faced with a crippling drought. Image Emma Brancatisano
"Everyone is saying it's too little too late", Ms Robertson said about the two instalments of $12,000 not being enough to buy feed for starving livestock.
The Government this morning also committed to investing an extra $5 million in the Rural Financial Counselling Service, which will provide additional support for farmers - particularly those applying for the FHA for the first time; and$11.4 million in mental health support initiatives including additional funding for Primary Health Networks in drought affected areas to cope with increased demand.
"Our poor guys, to get $6000, they have to list the size of their underpants", White says.
But Turnbull said the package was a supplement to the Farm Household Allowance, a fortnightly payment for eligible farmers totalling about $16,000 a year.
As drought hits hard in north-western NSW, kangaroos are swamping the township of Gunnedah in search of grass on front lawns and water from sprinklers.
Smatterings of rain fell on Monday in parts of eastern Australia devastated by drought, but the crippling dry spell is set to continue.
"It is created to keep body and soul together, not created to pay for fodder", the Prime Minister said. It appears we're going into a dry Spring and a tough Summer.
"Little falls like this, it just settles the dust and that's about it for an hour".
"These are very exceptional circumstances and it's important that we react and respond with the support that farmers need". In fact, it discourages them from making the right decisions to achieve resilience.
"We have their back", Mr Turnbull said.
"Parts of western and southern Queensland have been in drought for more than six years, which has overwhelmed even the best efforts of producers to prepare", he said.
"I think everyone agrees that we're seeing rainfall that is, if you like, more erratic, droughts that are more frequent and seasons that are hotter", he told the ABC.
The opposition Labor party has criticized the aid as long overdue and said the government should also be focusing more on climate change and its consequences to find ways of coping with droughts in the long term.
Former Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce said Tamworth in his NSW electorate had received about 10cm of rain for the year, half of what is normal in a desert.
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