Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Monday wrapped up a two-day listening tour of drought- affected communities by visiting Mount Gipps Station, a sheep station near Broken Hill in New South Wales, local media reported. Following the tour, the prime minister will head back to Canberra for a cabinet meeting to discuss drought aid on Monday afternoon. Despite the drought in parts of Australia, the prime minister has told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) Local Radio that he will not consider long-term subsides for the agricultural sector. "No country has ever taxed or subsidized its way to prosperity, " he said. "If we want agriculture to be a very, very important part of our economic future, subsidies aren't the way to go, but appropriate levels of natural disaster relief are an obvious part of the future." Abbott said he will announce a drought-assistance package next week. "It's very important that we have a government in this country that helps people who are prepared to help themselves," he said. Abbott said drought relief payments for farmers will start on March 1. "The sort of assistance that ought to be available to people who are going through natural disaster is short-term income support, and medium-term restructuring assistance to get back on your feet," he said. "They don't want handouts, they don't want welfare, they want to be able to get on with the job, they don't want government to run their businesses."