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Australian drought policy to be reviewed

The government has revealed the process of review that will be undertaken to better protect the agricultural industry during time of drought

Australian drought policy to be reviewed

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In Australia, the government has released the terms of reference for three separate investigations which form the national review of drought policy, as it looks to better protect farmers and build a more competitive agricultural industry.

The government's review has been divided into three categories: An economic assessment by the productivity commission, an assessment of the social impacts of the drought by an expert panel, and a climate assessment by the Bureau of Meteorology and the CSIRO.

"This is another important step forward in the government's efforts to ensure drought policy meets the future needs of our farmers in a changing climate," said Tony Burke, minister for agriculture, fisheries and forestry. "Unless we change the system, farmers may not qualify for future drought support under current definitions because droughts may no longer be something that occur only every 20-25 years."

Mr Burke said that the Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO report would be ready within the next month, with the other two reports due later in the year.

"The drought policy review will complement other initiative such as the A$130m Australia's Farming Future package which will increase on-farm preparedness, boost research and provide more professional advice and training to primary producers," Mr Burke added.

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