Federal Agriculture minister responds to drought assistance criticismVirginia Tapp, Tuesday August 19, 2014 - 15:40 EST
The Federal Minister for Agriculture has defended the effectiveness of his department's drought assistance program.
Barnaby Joyce says 2,853 families Australia wide are now receiving household payments.
He explains there are ongoing efforts to make assistance more accessible to landholders suffering the effects of drought.
"Do I say that we're doing a great job and there's nothing better we can do? No I don't," he said.
"Am I always trying to do the job better, yes I am.
"People say well we want to make it more streamlined so I do discuss with the Department of Human Services how we can streamline it, how we can make it more convenient."
© ABC 2014
More breaking news
Evacuations have been ordered in coastal towns and communities in the Whitsundays and Burdekin regions in north Queensland as Tropical Cyclone Debbie bears down, with authorities warning of damaging tidal surges.
Tropical Cyclone Debbie continues to strengthen over the Coral Sea as Queensland residents prepare for destructive weather in the days ahead.
Hot and humid conditions will affect Adelaide through today and into the early hours of Monday.