Australia

The nation's peak farming lobby has sent its drought strategy to the PM

President of the National Farmers Federation (NFF) Fiona Simson speaks to the media during a press conference at the National Drought Summit in Canberra. Source: AAP

The National Farmers' Federation has sent its national drought policy to the federal government, calling for better cooperation in prolonged dry spells.

Australia's peak farm lobby has settled on a blueprint for future drought response with a national policy aimed at better coordinating all tiers of government.

The National Farmers' Federation has handed its national drought policy to the Morrison government amid criticism such a strategy doesn't exist.

NFF president Fiona Simson said the framework would provide certainty for drought-affected people.

National Farmers Federation President Fiona Simson.
National Farmers Federation President Fiona Simson.
AAP

"This policy is not the panacea for this drought," she told reporters in Canberra.

"This drought is unplanned and the actions of government are unplanned. That's due to previous governments before them."

She said a national drought policy was about making sure federal, state and local governments shouldered the burden of devastating dry spells.

"It's something until now every government has shirked," she said.

"So we congratulate the Morrison government on their willingness to embrace and approach this national drought strategy."

The policy aims to bring all drought-affected stakeholders to the table including industry, community groups, local government, as well as federal, state and territory governments.

It also seeks to:

* Identify specific measures that need to be maintained, amended or reviewed, and propose new drought measures.

* Build on the Council of Australian Governments' National Drought Agreement and incorporate lessons learnt from past droughts.

* Create a drought forum for submissions every two years, in drought and out of drought, on what has worked and what has not.

* Establish a drought committee, responsible for overseeing implementation of the policy.

* The committee would commission studies into the effectiveness of drought measures, review the national policy and recommend changes through a four-yearly review.

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