Council drought funding flowed to LNP seats

Almost half of the councils the Federal Government announced would be eligible for a $1 million drought grant during the election did not meet the funding criteria.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, and then-agriculture minister David Littleproud announced last April if the Coalition was elected it would add 14 local government areas to the list of councils eligible for grants of up to $1 million.

However, a response provided in Senate estimates shows that six of the councils did not meet the requirement that at least 17 per cent of workers in the local government authority be employed in agriculture, and that 13 of the 14 of the councils awarded the grants were in coalition-held electorates.

The 14 councils added to the Drought Communities Program during last year's election campaign were: Balranald, Berrigan, Coolamon, Federation, Hay, Adelaide Plains, Alexandrina, Copper Coast, Port Pirie City and District, Renmark Paringa, Unincorporated Far North, Latrobe, Mildura, and Yarriambiak.

There are now 163 councils across Australia eligible for the Drought Communities Program.

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