The Australian Greens said today that the Coalition's backflip on Landcare funding was counter-productive to efforts to reduce the impact that drought and climate change is having on Australia's farmers.
"However the Coalition try to spin this issue, they've taken funding from Landcare and Caring for our Country, rather than getting the money from elsewhere," Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on agriculture said today.
"The Coalition promised to adequately fund Landcare during the election campaign, and this cut has come barely two months since polling day. These cuts come on top of the previous Government's cuts to Landcare and NRM.
"The Greens agree with the need to address drought and to build drought resilience, but it is counter-productive to fund a drought package by cutting NRM programs, which are a central part of any sensible, long term strategy to deal with drought and climate change.
"Gutting Landcare undermines efforts to ensure sustainable agriculture, address climate change and the impact is has on farmers.
"Drought assistance, investment in NRM and support for farmers to adapt to climate change is vital. Drought conditions and severe weather events are likely to worsen in coming years, we must ensure farmers and growers are able to adapt to deal with these changes. This means protecting the land, and working on new and alternative farming techniques and new agricultural opportunities.
"The Minister needs to reconsider this cut and look elsewhere to fund these important drought measures," Senator Siewert concluded.