A promise to take all that has been said back to the cabinet room in Canberra and additional funding for farmers, mining workers and indigenous Australians suffering from mental health issues have emerged from the Prime Minister’s “Listening Tour” across the West.
The Federal Government will now provide $1m for the Aussie Helpers Virtual Psychologist counselling service and Rural and Remote Mental Health wil also receive a $1 million boost for services to the regions.
Agriculture Minister David Littleproud, travelling with the Prime Minister says the new funding lifts the overall total for communities struggling with the effects of prolonged drought.
“I am pleased to announce that $20million will be going towards rural financial counselling services.”
“This commitment by the Australian Government is going to give that entity real surety to be able to come out and interact through the financial impacts, but as well as the emotional impacts that these people out here are facing.”
The Prime Minister has promised he will take the scores-long issues list of concerns to the Federal Cabinet, where a discussion can be had on the best way to tackle the big dry.
“In our line of work, you can never listen too much. A lot of the measures that have been undertaken, people had differing views about. For example, the dog fences. An old-timer told me he wasn’t a great fan, but he’s recently seen great success.”
Mr Turnbull however says he’ll have more to say on extending the Farm Household Allowance, after taking on baord all that he and the delegation has seen and heard.
“We’re not making too many announcements on this trip. The main thing is to listen and get all the feedback.”
“There’s also been a common concern, this applies to state programs as well, that the process of paperwork of applying for grants or concessional loans is too arduous. We’ve got to make it easier for people to get assistance.”
“You are the very heart and soul of Australia and you’re dealing with a tough and volatile and often unpredictable climate. Your enterprise and your courage is what makes it all work.”