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Aussie government boosts drought relief funding to $1.3 billion

Staff Writer | August 19, 2018
Australian farmers struggling with the worst drought in decades will have access to a 1.8 billion Australian dollars ($1.3 billion) for relief, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced on Sunday.
Australia drought
Australia   Australian farmers are struggling with the worst drought in decades
Under the significant funding boost, 60 drought-affected councils on Australia's east coast will be handed one million Australian dollars each to be spent however they see fit on drought relief.

Of the 60 councils, 36 are in New South Wales where the entire state is affected by drought, 22 in Queensland and two in Victoria.

"This is really important, to get some more cash into these communities, to do long overdue work of the type the councils are always attending to," Turnbull told reporters on Sunday.

"That's going to provide some more jobs and some more income into the town."

Of the 1.8 billion Australian dollars ($1.3 billion), 250 million Australian dollars ($182 million) was announced as new funding by Turnbull on Sunday.

A majority of the relief funding will be distributed in the form of low-interest loans which will have to be paid back and do not affect the Federal Budget.

Turnbull announced on Sunday that the amount farmers can borrow in low-interest loans would be doubled to two million Australian dollars ($1.46 million) and the amount available for loans would be doubled to 500 million Australian dollars ($365 million).