UPDATE, Monday, 11.25am: Member for Wannon Dan Tehan has welcomed the federal drought minister's call for a full audit of the data and processes used to allocate relief grants.
"I have spoken to Moyne Shire mayor Mick Wolfe this morning and we both agree there are areas of greater need for this money and we look forward to the outcome of the audit," he said.
"Money is allocated on need, so where the money will be redircected is not clear at this stage.
"But, the government has made it very clear that where there are areas of need the government will provide assistance."
Mr Tehan said both he and Cr Wolfe agreed to wait and see what the audit outcome.
"We think the audit will show that Moyne Shire is not in drought. We are very confident of that outcome," he said.
"Neither the Moyne Shire or me as the local member asked for drought relief," he said.
Cr Wolfe welcomed the nationwide funding to assist drought-stricken regions, but said Moyne Shire's eligibility for $1 million in grant funding came as surprise.
"We do not believe Moyne Shire is experiencing drought conditions and so we are pleased the minister has ordered an audit to be carried out on information used to inform this decision," he said.
"We will continue to work with government to understand the eligibility criteria of the Drought Communities Program and will discuss at our council workshop tomorrow before informing the minister of our position," he said.
At 10.30am: The embarrassing granting of $1 million for drought relief to Moyne Shire will lead to a review of weather data collection provided to the federal government.
Minister for Drought David Littleproud is requesting a forensic audit of Bureau of Meteorology data after the federal government allocated $1 million to Moyne.
Moyne shire is currently experiencing one of its best ever farming seasons after plenty of rain while other parts of the Australia are experiencing the worst drought in the nation for 120 years.
Mr Littleproud has asked for an audit of the selection criteria, but has defended the process, saying it is predicated on drought mapping of each shire by the Bureau of Meteorology.
"And as of June 30, according to the bureau, 62 per cent of that shire was in drought," he said.
"That triggered, along with 12 other shires who are also in drought, our response which the prime minister announced on Friday.
"I'll be asking for a forensic audit by the bureau to make sure that data collection was right but that's the science we predicate our decisions on.
"It needs to be right. It needs to be predicated on science."
The minister said the money was aimed at providing help, to build that community and provide a $1 million stimulus for farmers and small business in those areas.
Mr Littleproud said the money aimed to build infrastructure to provide a lasting legacy.
The grants were part of a $100 million package announced by the federal government late last week.
At 8.15am: Minister for Drought David Littleproud is requesting a forensic audit of Bureau of Meteorology data after the federal government embarrassing granted $1 million to the Moyne shire for drought relief.
Moyne shire is currently experiencing one of its best ever farming seasons after plenty of rain and top-rate feed growth.
Mr Littleproud in standing by the allocation, which he claim was based on BOM data showing 62 per cent of Moyne shire was in drought.
A spokesman for the minister on Sunday said Bureau of Meteorology figures predicted a dry summer ahead.
Member for Wannon and federal education minister Dan Tehan is making a statement to the media this morning.
Sunday: Moyne Shire councillors have been stunned to learn they will receive $1 million in federal government grants for drought relief despite the south-west experiencing one of its best winter/spring seasons in years.
Fresh off the plane from the United States, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced on Friday the new Drought Community Program would deliver nearly $100 million to drought-hit communities.
Moyne Shire councillor and Woolsthorpe farmer Colin Ryan said he was in disbelief to learn $1 million was heading down south.
"It's certainly news to me that we're in drought when we've had one of the best seasons in years," he said.
"How are we in drought when we're sending hay up to our northern farmers who are living in dust bowls and can barely afford to feed their cattle or themselves?"
A spokeswoman for the deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure Michael McCormick said Moyne Shire Council was "definitely" rightfully selected.
"The program is designed for councils to build local projects to generate their economies in drought-affected communities," she said.
"The focus is on the flow-on effects of the drought to help local economies.
"The eligibility of drought-affected communities is based on the latest statistics from the Bureau of Meteorology and the Department of Agriculture."
The office for Minister for Drought David Littleproud confirmed Moyne Shire was selected for the program based on latest research.
"The Government took into account Bureau of Meteorology data, as well as other economic and industry data such as the workforce employed in agriculture, forestry or fisheries, to determine which Local Government areas should receive assistance," a spokesman said.
"We looked at where drought issues had started intensifying in Local Government Areas that had not yet received $1 million under the program.
"Ahead of the forecast summer conditions, it is important to generate an economic stimulus in these communities to ensure we can mitigate against hardship, support projects that provide local employment and keep money flowing through local shops and suppliers.
Moyne was one of 13 councils across Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia who were part of Friday's announcement.
According to the statistics provided to Mr Littleproud's office, Moyne Shire's rainfall deficiency for March 2019 was 78.4 per cent and the June deficiency was 62 per cent.
Cr Ryan said he believed the statistics given to the government for the DCP allocation simply do not reflect the reality in Moyne Shire.
"For the Federal Minister of Agriculture to say we're in drought is unbelievable and untrue," he said.
"Can we morally keep this money when we're not suffering?"
Moyne council will meet early this week to discuss whether they make an application for the funding or if they will pass it up so it can to be reallocated to those in need during the next round of funding announcements.
Wannon MP Dan Tehan has been contacted for comment.
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