MORE THAN $1 BILLION TO HELP FARMERS FIGHT WORSENING DROUGHT

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Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson has welcomed the NSW Government’s increased drought support package of $500 million, which will help all farmers right across region.

This package now takes the Government’s drought support to more than $1 billion, with $584 million announced in June 2018.

“Every farmer in the Tamworth electorate is finding it tough as farmers are experiencing one of the driest winters on record and we know this package is essential not just for our farmers but the continued productivity of our regional communities.

“The severity of the drought has resulted in failing crops and in most cases no winter crops, drastic water shortages and a severely diminishing supply of fodder.

“A major feature of this package is the introduction of transport subsidies, this measure recognises the fact that in many areas people have been forced to cart fodder because the local supply is drying up.

“We are backdating transport subsidies to 1 January 2018 when we began to see conditions deteriorate.

“As part of the emergency funding, waivers will apply on Local Land Services annual rates, fixed charges on water licences, registration costs for class 1 agricultural vehicles and interest for existing Farm Innovation Fund loans.

“I also encourage farmers to apply for the Drought Assistance Loans by contacting the NSW Rural Assistance Authority on 1800 678 593. Applications have now ” which have now totaled more than $14 million in applications

The Government will also allocate an additional $150 million to the Farm Innovation Fund, reflecting significant uptake by farmers across the State.

The NSW Rural Assistance Authority will begin processing applications from Monday August 6. For more information on the NSW Government’s emergency drought relief package visit www.droughthub.nsw.gov.au

MEDIA: Simon Chamberlain | 0477 309 999

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

The three major elements of the $500 million Emergency Drought Relief Package are:

  • Approximately $190 million for Drought Transport Subsidies
  • Approximately $100 million for cutting the cost of farming fees and charges – by waiving Local Land Services rates, waiving fixed water charges in rural and regional areas, and waiving class one agricultural vehicle registration costs, among other initiatives, and
  • $150 million to bolster the Farm Innovation Fund (FIF) infrastructure program;

The package also includes funding for:

  • Counselling and mental health;
  • Critical services in regional communities including transporting water and drought related road upgrades and repairs;
  • Animal welfare and stock disposal.