Thursday, 23 April 2020
WHILE the attention of world is focused on dealing with COVID-19 and parts of the State rebound from the summer’s devastating bushfires, Minister for Agriculture and Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall said it was important not to forget the continuing impact of drought, which still has a grip on more than 75 per cent of the State.
“It’s fair to say the government has had its hands full over the past few months, dealing with one crisis on top of another,” Mr Marshall said.
“Despite this, the devastating impact of drought has not been forgotten and our farmers are still being supported.
“While the media focus is squarely on the COVID-19 pandemic, behind the scenes there is still a huge effort assisting those in drought and delivering the government’s record drought support package.
“Thanks to strong financial management the government has been able to support people through bushfires and now coronavirus, but that has not come at the expense of supporting people in drought-ravaged parts of NSW, including the Northern Tablelands.
“There has now been almost $1 billion invested in rural and regional NSW in the current financial year to help primary producers and communities through the drought and that support will continue.
“The suite of support programs has been designed and continually refined to ensure flexibility and the maximum number of producers – no matter their size, location or type of production – can get some form of help.”
As part of the NSW Government’s drought response, more than $186 million has been spent on the drought transport subsidy, while the Farm Innovation Fund has seen in excess of $436 million injected into rural communities.
Almost $100 million has been distributed through the Drought Assistance Fund and in excess of $100 million worth of Local Land Service rates and fixed water charges have been waived.
“As drought conditions change and some areas begin the long recovering journey, the government will keep supporting our farmers and rural communities,” Mr Marshall said.
“Parts of our region have received good rainfall in recent times and although I’m mindful the drought is far from over, there is also the need to be able to help primary producers transition into drought recovery in the best way possible.”
More information on the assistance available from the NSW Government can be found by visiting www.droughthub.nsw.gov.au