GRANITE BELT DROUGHT FEATURE
WHAT'S IN THE GOVERNMENT'S NEW DROUGHT PLAN?
* Small business drought loans of up to $500,000 for wages, equipment and to refinance.
* Farm drought loans which are interest free for the first two years, before being an interest only payment from years three to five. Repayments from years six to 10 are interest and principal.
* $10 million for schools in drought-ravaged areas to help with financial hardship, including fee-assistance
* $5 million towards child care centres struggling because families are unable to afford child care.
* Expanded drought communities program, adding six more council areas, providing $122 million for local infrastructure and other drought-relief activities.
*New $50 million discretionary fund to support additional councils when needed.
* Redirecting $200 million from the Building Better Regions Fund to create a special drought round providing up to $10 million per project.
* Roads to Recovery supplementary payment for 128 local government areas in drought (up to $138.9 million) for upgrades and maintenance of roads ready to roll out.
* Releasing up to 100 gigalitres down the Murray River to the southern basin by April 30, to grow up to 120,000 tonnes of fodder as well as silage and pasture.
* The federal government will help South Australia turn on a desalination plant in return for a cost of $88 million, including $10 million for drought measures.
* The government is yet to determine the fine print for the new non-transferable water permits, but expects about 4000 to 6000 farmers to put their hand up for one.