Littleproud given new role on front line for drought
SECURING his second role on the federal frontbench, Member for Maranoa David Littleproud has made it his first priority in his new ministerial role to ensure funds for future drought relief don't dry up.
The Warwick-based politician was named the Minister for Water Resources, Drought, Rural Disaster and Emergency Management on Sunday.
It's a change from his previous role as Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, as Deputy Nationals' Leader Bridget McKenzie steps in to become the first woman to claim the role as Agriculture Minister.
Mr Littleproud said his first priority in his new position was to see the Future Drought Fund Bill passed.
The legislation will lock in $100million a year to build drought resilience, which will add up to a $5billion investment.
"This isn't just 'keep paying as long we can keep paying'. We're going to say this is legislated,” Mr Littleproud said.
"This will be a dividend that will give farmers the tools to be able to support them to be prepared and resilient for droughts.”
Mr Littleproud said the fund would build on the $1.9billion the government had already invested in farm and community support.
The Future Drought Fund would direct money into research and development to assist the whole sector.
Mr Littleproud said he would also ensure existing drought relief programs, including the Farm Household Assistance, continued to be rolled out.
Although Mr Littleproud has held the portfolio for water resources for 16 months, he was excited to be part of emergency management and co-ordinating relief efforts.
"Working with all tiers of government to make sure we protect and help those Australians that are impacted by natural disaster,” he said.
Mr Littleproud said he was pleased to be given a role in cabinet
"It's a great honour but it doesn't surpass being Member for Maranoa,” he said.