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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 1209

STATEMENT BY THE PRIME MINISTER THE RIGHT HONOURABLE SIR ROBERT MENZIES K.T.C.H.Q.C.M.P IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, TUESDAY 7TH DECEMBER, 1965 - DROUGH ASSISTANCE

Photo of Menzies, Robert

Menzies, Robert

Period of Service: 19/12/1949 to 26/01/1966

More information about Menzies, Robert on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 07/12/1965

Release Type: Statement in Parliament

Transcript ID: 1209

STATEMENT BY THE PRIME MINISTER
THE RIGHT HONOURABLE SIR ROBERT MENZIES, M. P.,
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, TUESDAY 7TH DECEMBER, 1965.
DROUGHT ASSISTANCE
In reply to a question by the Honourable Member for
Bendigo on 30th November I said that I hoped to be in a position
shortly to let the House know of the results of the Commonwealth
Government's consideration of recent approaches we have had from
the States of New South Wales and Queensland for financial
assistance to enable them to undertake additional relief measures
for primary producers who are suffering because of the present
unfortunate drought in those States. The Premier of New South
Wales and the Premier of Queensland both wrote to me on 26th
November advising me of relief measures in those States.
I had previously advised both of the Premiers that they
could take it that Commonwealth financial assistance would cover
whatever deficit they ultimately might have in their budgets as a
result of drought measures that might be taken. Both Premiers have
instituted schemes to help relieve the situation. In both States
there are schemes of concessional loans of up to œ 3,000 for
essential carry-on purposes for drought affected primary producers
who are in necessitous circumstances and are unable to finance
their essential carry-on requirements from their own resources
or through ordinary commercial channels. These loans will be
at 3% interest per annum and advances are repayable over
a maximum period of seven years with repayment of interest
and principal deferred for the first two years. In addition,
the States have instituted other schemes which include such
; measures as advances through the banks for fodder purchases,
grants to local councils for special purposes associated with
drought problems in particular areas, local unemployment relief
work and rebate and subsidy schemes for the carriage of fodder
and stock by road and rail.

I can now inform the House that the Premiers have been
advised that the additional measures will come within the scope
of the Commonwealth's undertaking to provide financial
assistance in respect of the cost to their States of drought
relief measures. I have also informed the Premier of Queensland that
the Commonwealth agrees to a request his State has made for an
immediate interim advance of œ 1million to Queensland on account
of drought costs. The request was made in accordance with a
previous assurance by the Commonwealth Government that it would be
prepared to consider making interim payments if the States so
desired. The Premier of New South Wales had previously told me
that he considers that it would be preferable for his State to
wait until the results of the first half of the financial year are
available before making formal application for an interim payment.
As I have said previously, the Commonwealth's undertaking
to provide financial assistance to the two States in respect of
the cost of their drought relief measures is unprecedentedly
generous. The additional relief measures now being taken by the
two States will, I am sure, be of great assistance in enabling
drought affected primary producers in necessitous circumstances
to carry on.

Transcript 1209