Stop not apologising for rural jobs not done

What drought plan?

Opinion
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Mr Barilaro and Mr Littleproud need to have a good chat.

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To step back and look at what's unfolding across rural Australia right now, it is clear many policies are not producing the right outcomes.

The federal government is struggling with what to do around drought.

We still have no national policy and also there were those comments from Minister for Water Resources, Drought, Rural Finance, Natural Disaster (take a breath...) and Emergency Management David Littleproud.

"Government can't do it all, there's got to be some self-responsibility with this... not everyone will get through this drought, and there shouldn't be an expectation that the government will get everyone through. We can't," he said.

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That may be the case, but government could at least have a plan.

It is of greater concern when the drought situation is overlaid with the Murray Darling Basin Plan and how the past 12 months have really highlighted the lack of commonsense in trying to support the Murray's mouth with fresh water flows.

The trouble is our governments lack a plan about what they want rural Australia to look like. If this was clear, what other policies should look like would also be clear.

Instead, we lurch from one policy bushfire to the next, dealing with each in isolation.

The federal government said it will soon sit down with the states to discuss who is responsible for what with drought.

Perhaps this is an opportunity to bring to the table some positive goals for rural Australia - all we've seen so far is negative talk from politicians.

The NSW Nationals leader John Barilaro this past week made a few bold comments of his own.

In a speech to his party members, Mr Barilaro listed a few things for which his party would not apologise.

This included things like building dams, protecting farmers, and not letting the bush be traded off to appease city moderates.

These have all become bigger, not smaller, issues in the past decade, the majority of which we have had a Coalition government.

A better thing to hear would have been "I'm looking forward to sitting down with Mr Littleproud to discuss how we can work together to fast track a drought plan that is in line with growing rural Australia . . . ", or something to that effect.

Barilaro is busy not apologising for things he hasn't done. Littleproud is busy telling us "we can't". We need to see these guys get on the same page.

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