BARNABY Joyce has vowed to keep working to help drought-hit farmers amid criticism his agriculture blueprint is too little, too late.
While the government’s agriculture white paper has been broadly welcomed by big farmer lobby groups, some rural residents are not as impressed.
The multibillion-dollar vision of the industry’s future includes money for dams, biosecurity, trade, and tax breaks and extended cheap loans for farmers.
But some say hundreds of families have already been forced out of their farms as banks take over and towns empty.
“It’s just too little too late, for many families,” Brian Egan, co-founder of Aussie Helpers, a charity that assists drought-hit communities, told ABC radio on Monday.
In the past six months, the charity had visited 450 farming families affected by drought.
“There’s a statement in the white paper that says: ‘We will always stand by farmers in drought’,” Mr Egan said.
“But they haven’t – they’ve let people down.”