SA-BEST has called on Primary Industries Minister Tim Whetstone to acknowledge what Prime Minister Scott Morrison has today admitted and declare parts of South Australia drought-affected
Mr Morrison acknowledged this morning that “parts” of South Australia were in drought – the first time a Liberal MP has made such an admission.
SA-BEST MLC and agriculture spokesperson, Frank Pangallo, said it was now time for the Minister for Primary Industries, Tim Whetstone, to heed the advice of the Prime Minister and declare as “drought impacted” parts of the state - including areas around Cowell, Arno Bay and Cleve on Eyre Peninsula and areas near Geranium Plains and World's End in the mid north – being ravaged by harsh weather conditions.
“It's so obvious but the Primary Industry Minister Tim Whetstone doesn't see the wood for the trees,” said Mr Pangallo while touring Eyre Peninsula this week.
“The Prime Minister has rightly acknowledged parts of SA are in drought and are in need of support, while our government continues to keep its head in the sand and ignore the plight of many of our farmers who are doing it extremely tough.
“A parliamentary select committee visiting parts of the Eyre Peninsula this week drove through a severe dust storm that enveloped barren, virtually-desolate farms in the Cowell district.
“My fellow MPs were stunned at what they saw. Winds which are regular in these areas blew away whatever top soil was left in bare paddocks. Each day of dry conditions adds more financial pain and heartache.”
Mr Pangallo has recently spoken to a farmer - who comes from a fourth generation farming family in the mid north – who told him it was the worst conditions seen in the area for 100 years.
“While I welcome the Government's move to set up a task force foreshadowed in the State budget, quick decisions are needed,” he said.
“Any outcomes from the taskforce could come too late for many of our struggling farmers.”
SA-BEST recently unveiled its Hay Ewe bale drive – a fundraising initiative to raise money to purchase desperately needed food-stock for our farmers.