Government releases drought review report

Paul Osborne
Major General Stephen Day's report on the drought has been released by the government

THE KEY FINDINGS OF DROUGHT COORDINATOR REPORT

* Major General Stephen Day presented his recommendations to the government in April, but the full report was only released on Thursday.

RECOMMENDATIONS

* Regular assessments of Australia's natural resources to inform long term, regional natural resource management priorities.

* Assessment of every surface and groundwater basin across the country, taking account of future challenges such as changes in climate, population, industry growth and environmental needs.

* Review of Farm Management Deposits scheme.

* Farm businesses should be encouraged to consider carbon farming, environmental stewardship and renewable energy.

* Review of the Rural Financial Counselling Service and extension of counselling to small business operators.

* Pilot program to improve ability of Farm Household Allowance recipients to recover and move into education, training or work.

* Programs to boost local community leadership and come up with local "adverse event" plans.

* Indicators designed to inform the government on regional and local conditions and assist drought preparation and response; and better inform farmers and communities to manage and prepare for drought.

* A new consistent definition of "drought" for government.

* Department of Agriculture and Water Resources should lead the development and implementation of a drought strategy and drive whole of government engagement on drought.

* Annual report should be provided to parliament on a drought strategy

* The Morrison government says it has acted on three-quarters of the recommendations and is considering the remainder.

(Source: Drought in Australia report)