Australian communities bracing for catastrophic natural disasters will soon have access to billions more dollars in recovery funding.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg is funnelling almost $4 billion worth of unspent education dollars into the new “emergency response” account.
Mr Frydenberg proposes to withdraw up to $150 million each year following a significant disaster, when the government believes there is a need for money above and beyond its normal response programs.
He has also locked in $5 billion for a “future drought fund” to support resilience projects.
Drought-stricken farmers are being offered $6.3 billion in government assistance and concessional loans.
Farmers recovering from the Queensland floods are being offered $3.3 billion worth of various supports.
“Over the past year drought and flood have taken a heavy toll on our agricultural towns and communities,” Mr Frydenberg said on Tuesday night.
“These communities have shown strength and resilience, as all Australians have stood with them.”
Flood-affected farmers in north Queensland are being given $300 million to rebuild infrastructure, replace livestock and replant crops.
Family farmers will be able to apply for up to $400,000 each.
Almost $30 million has been set aside in the federal budget to target expert growth in key markets