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Government assistance for Australia's drought-affected farmers increases to $1.8 billion

2018-08-20 01:21
Australia on August 19 announced AUD$250 million in funding for drought-afflicted farmers, as much of the country's east coast suffers the driest conditions in living memory. Speaking from the town of Forbes, about 400km west of Sydney, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the additional money brought the federal government's total assistance package to AUD$1.8 billion. The government said the funding would be directed towards local infrastructure in drought-affected areas, provide low-interest loans of up to AUD$2 million to farmers and provide tax breaks for some equipment. Money was also to be directed to the Bureau of Meteorology, to develop finer-scale weather guides so farmers could better plan for their future. The dry spell has helped fan rare winter bushfires in parts of the country, and the Bureau of Meteorology has forecast an above average dry and warm Australian spring. Credit: Reuters