Australia: Ministers split on 'drought-busting' plan - - PressFrom - Australia

Australia Ministers split on 'drought-busting' plan

21:50  13 october  2019
21:50  13 october  2019 Source:

Joyce says drought-stricken farmers should consider leaving their land

  Joyce says drought-stricken farmers should consider leaving their land Former Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce believes drought-affected farmers should consider leaving the land if they're struggling to turn a profit. Producers facing the prospect of being kicked-off government assistance are calling on the Coalition to lift a four-year cap. The government has argued it has already increased access to the payments by loosening the rules and streamlining applications.Mr Joyce told Sky News on Friday that it's time for some farmers to make some tough decisions.

Environmental and planning rules could be circumvented to fast-track dams, bores and water pipelines under emergency drought - busting laws being considered by Water Minister Melinda Pavey is set to receive powers to fast-track drought-critical projects. Credit:Joel Carrett. Details of the proposal, to be

Learn about drought planning , impacts to urban and rural economies, information for your state. Find a comprehensive list of state drought plans . The 10-Step Drought Planning Process explains how governments can monitor and plan for drought , and has been adapted for use around the world.

a bridge over a body of water with a mountain in the background: The Berejiklian government is considering a proposal to fast-track new water infrastructure including dams, pipelines and bores.© Wolter Peeters The Berejiklian government is considering a proposal to fast-track new water infrastructure including dams, pipelines and bores.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian is being lobbied by some of her most senior colleagues who are opposed to a plan which would water down environmental rules in a bid to fast-track dams and pipelines.

Environment Minister Matt Kean and Attorney General Mark Speakman were most reluctant about some of the emergency drought response legislation due to be debated in cabinet today, two sources familiar with the discussions over the plans introduction said.

The Sun-Herald revealed the proposal, to be introduced by Deputy Premier John Barilaro, would allow Water Minister Melinda Pavey and Planning Department secretary Jim Betts to direct bureaucrats to disregard some planning processes for critical water infrastructure.

No magic wand on drought, Morrison argues

  No magic wand on drought, Morrison argues Prime Minister Scott Morrison has argued there is no magic wand or cash splash that can solve the ongoing drought, but insists he is doing all he can to help.Scott Morrison has defended his government's response to the ongoing drought, after hearing the desperate pleas of an outback community member in distress.

But due to the crisis between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Economy Minister Naftali Bennett, it was put off to next week. In recent weeks Steinitz and Kuperwasser have drafted a plan for the campaign, which they intend to submit for approval at the discussion Netanyahu plans to hold

A drought or drouth is an event of prolonged shortages in the water supply, whether atmospheric (below-average precipitation), surface water or ground water.

Several towns across the state are expected to run out of drinking water by the end of the year.© David Gray Several towns across the state are expected to run out of drinking water by the end of the year.

One proposal would be to slash the length of biodiversity surveys — an audit of threatened and native vegetation — which could cut approval times by up to a year alone

WaterNSW advice, seen by the Sun-Herald, showed the changes could speed up the delivery of the projects by up to two years as towns raced against the clock before running out of water.

Despite the opposition from colleagues, Planning Minister Rob Stokes supports the measures.

Mr Kean, Mr Speakman, Mr Stokes and Ms Pavey declined to comment.

But Labor's environment spokeswoman, Kate Washington, said the proposal was not a real solution to regional towns hit by drought but "empty words from the Nationals".

Alan Jones tears up live on-air in emotional tribute to struggling farmers

  Alan Jones tears up live on-air in emotional tribute to struggling farmers WATCH: Sky News host Alan Jones has broken down in tears live on-air while delivering an emotional tribute to farmers struggling to make ends meet as drought continues to ravage the country. Continuing his criticism of the government’s response to the drought, Mr Jones panned Scott Morrison for focusing on “side issues” to the drought.“Drought and the farmer are now a massive political issue,” he said.“The backlash against the government is viral.“Yet in Question time today, it was as if the drought didn't exist.

Yuval Steinitz advocates PR counteroffensive, but Foreign Ministry says this would play into activists' hands.

After 6 years of drought , California has finally had a deluge of rain. But with much of the state's water supply being sent to LA, people in

"Where is Matt Kean on this?" Ms Washington asked. "He shouldn't be pandering to the Nationals' plots to distract from their failure to heed warnings and their failure to build any dams for a decade.

"The Nationals should not be allowed to throw environmental protections out of the window for this so-called urgent need when they are going to take five years to build and a decade to fill."

Consideration of the plan, which would also lower the hurdles to greenlighting projects but leave them open to legal challenges, comes a day after Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a $480 million upgrade of the Dungowan Dam near Tamworth.

There will also be a business case study of a 100,000-megalitre dam on the Mole River, near the Queensland border, as part of the strategy announced on Sunday.

Government sources indicated the new fast-track rules would apply to the planning of Dungowan Dam, the Wyangala Dam near Cowra and the new construction on the Mole River.

PM boosts drought payment for farmers

  PM boosts drought payment for farmers The prime minister has revealed he will provide additional payments for those on the Farm Household Allowance for longer than four years. Scott Morrison announced the extension on Thursday morning and said instead of the payment finishing abruptly after four years, couples will receive $13,000 and single farming farmers will receive $7,500. The new measure is designed to counter the ongoing criticism the government has been facing over its support for farmers struggling through the drought.

Write a Plan . Develop Strategies. Sample Drought Plans . Send your comments, suggestions, corrections, ideas, and stories to the National Drought Mitigation Center. Your feedback is actively sought and will be used to modify these resources.

Party bosses, backed by the first minister , have decided the next Welsh leader will be elected under an electoral college, not one-member-one-vote as used to elect Jeremy Corbyn. But most Labour members of the cabinet think the votes of ordinary party members should be given more weight.

The new rules will apply across Dubbo, Nyngan, Cobar, Tamworth, Cowra, Forbes and Parkes.

WaterNSW warned last month that some of these towns could run out of drinking water, according to "worst case scenario" projections, by November.

However, a number of environmental organisations have warned against the proposal and suggested that removing protections could create a number of ecological problems in the future.

"Bypassing proper environmental checks will compound the ecological and social disasters the government has already helped to create," Nature Conservation Council chief Chris Gambian said.

“Governments stopped building dams 30 years ago for a very good reason. Dams fail to provide water security for local communities, they degrade river systems and cause a host of environmental problems."

Independent MP Justin Field told the Herald that while the Nationals "are always talking about dams ... they almost never get built because they don't stack up".

"There is a finite amount of water in any system and a new dam doesn’t make more water. Spending billions of public money deserves a proper planning process and cost-benefit analysis," he said.

Farmers want 'exit packages' to leave land .
The National Farmers' Federation will release a new drought policy, as National Party MPs release their own plan to help rural communities in distress. Farmers are urging the federal government to pay council rates for businesses affected by drought and offer exit packages for those wanting to leave the land. The proposals are part of a national drought policy to be released by the National Farmers' Federation on Wednesday.The policy will also call for a focus on long-term drought preparedness and resilience to correct a pattern of "ad hoc" state and commonwealth measures.

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