A look at the major regions that will experience the greatest impact from climate change, with Australia’s leading agricultural producers likely to be hardest hit.
Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce said farmers in Australia’s southern parts of the country would be hit the hardest by climate change because their crops would not be able to withstand more frequent and severe droughts.
He said he had told his counterpart in New South Wales that farmers there would be the hardest hit by climate changes, with the drought causing the worst loss of crops in the state.
The drought also has the potential to damage farmers in Queensland, and South Australia, where the region is a major grain-growing area.
“We will see a major impact in Queensland,” Mr Joyce told ABC Radio in Melbourne.
He said the drought in New England, New South Bay and the northern half of the state was also expected to be the biggest impacts in Australia.
Australia’s agriculture sector is among the largest in the world, and produces about $100 billion worth of products annually.
But farmers in these regions face a greater risk of flooding and drought as the region’s climate changes.
Mr Joyce said he wanted to ensure the agricultural sector was ready for any change that could affect agriculture.
Mr Joyce said in some cases the disruption of supply and demand would lead to higher prices for farmers.
Farmers and industry groups welcomed the announcement that farmers will be required to buy more water to irrigate their crops, and said it would be a welcome change.
But the Australian Farmers’ Union said the government’s decision was a step in the right direction, but not enough.
Australian farmers have been forced to pay more than $1.4 billion in water bills since the drought started, and will continue to have to do so.
In the past, farmers have had to pay for water through higher tariffs.
It is understood the government wants to increase that tariff from the current $2 per thousand cubic metres to $3 per thousand, and it is also understood the price increases will be phased in over several years.
While the Government has said it will provide $10 billion in support to farmers, some farmers have voiced concerns about the cost of the support.
They have also warned the price increase will be unsustainable, as it will have a knock-on effect on other farmers.
Mr Joyce told the ABC the Government would be looking to the Australian Institute of Agricultural Research to determine the cost to farmers.
He said farmers could continue to use cheaper water for irrigation, but if it wasn’t for the new drought, there would have been no need for them to.
What farmers are doing to deal with climate changeA number of farmers have expressed concern that they will not be adequately prepared to deal in a warming climate, especially if they are not in Australia right now.
The ABC has sought comment from a number of Australian farmers.