Drought relief schemes for the 'Pastoral Zone'.
The Australian Rangeland Journal
4(2) 67 - 77
In this article I have attempted to firstly provide a consensus view of graziers to sound drought strategies; secondly, outline Government policies or action directed towards assisting graziers affected by drought; and finally, address the subject of drought policy as it relates to conservation of the rangeland resource. Drought strategies discussed include pre-drought (e.g. fodder reserves, conservative stocking), longer term (e.g. increasing property size, spatial diversification of grazing blocks) and in-drought (e.g. reduce stock numbers early in drought). Grounds for Government intervention and aid for drought affected producers are analysed with regard to both the individual farmer's needs and the impact nationally of low return from a drought-affected primary industry. Aspects discussed include provision of better infrastructure (e.g, new roads), taxation concessions, a National Drought Fodder Reserve, land tenure policy, the Rural Adjust- ment Scheme and credit and freight concessions. From the conservation viewpoint, it is pointed out that officially declared 'droughts' occur too frequently and there are no incentives for graziers to either act early before a drought becomes firmly established or to delay re-stocking after the drought has broken. It is concluded that a balance between in-drought assistance and long term assistance needs to be struck, and that drought policies should be directed towards 'good' management strategies. If this can be achieved then primary producers should be less dependent on relief schemes.
Full text doi:10.1071/RJ9820067
© ARS 1982