Federal relief for bush

Updated: 14/10/2008

Source: LUCY SKUTHORP – Farm online – Tue 14 Oct 08

drought picUp to $4 billion will flow into regional Australia as part of the Government’s $10.4 billion economic rescue package, announced in Canberra today.

Calling it a “buffer for the future”, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced the multi-billion dollar package in response to the unfolding turmoil in world economies and forecasts of a significant slowing in the Australian and most other developed economies.

The package predominantly targets pensioners, low-middle income families, first home buyers and infrastructure investments.

Mr Rudd said world financial events in recent weeks had triggered a “rolling national security crisis” and stipulated it was important to plan ahead, continue to examine the unfolding events and “act decisively”.

He said the government’s $10.4 billion strategy, which would see most payments start in December, was necessary for three reasons – firstly data from the international monetary fund pointed to significant downwards revisions in world economies, secondly there was evidence of a softening of commodity prices, and thirdly all confidence indicators revealed difficult times ahead.

Mr Rudd said 2.9 million regional and rural Australians would see about $4 billion of the package to help with cost of living pressures and sustain economic growth.

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