MARSHALL PROBES AGRICULTURE MINISTER OVER DROUGHT CONDITIONS

Friday, 20 October 2023

WITH the prospect of prolonged dry conditions looming large across the region, Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall used State Parliament this week to question Agriculture Minister Tara Moriarty about what plans she has to support primary producers and rural communities through drought this summer.

Mr Marshall pressed the Minister by asking when the government would officially recognise that rural and regional NSW was already in the grip of drought, which would only worsen and spread as the warm dry weather intensified.

“Conditions are bad, they will only get worse and some areas are already in drought, yet we haven’t heard a peep from the Minister, nor any official mention of the word ‘drought’ from the government, let alone any indications of support on the way,” Mr Marshall said.

“The Minister needs to be honest and upfront about the reality of the situation on the land and the grim outlook for the summer. This is a minimum requirement of her holding the office she does.

“We are already seeing echoes of the previous drought, with raging bushfires across the region and a long, hot and dry summer predicted.

“Farmers and rural communities deserve to hear from the Agriculture Minister and to know what the government is planning to help, if anything at all.

“Drought and bushfires will almost certainly be the biggest challenges our region will face over the coming months and we are entitled to some answers.”

Mr Marshall moved a motion in parliament only last week calling for the government to initiate drought support measures.

“Farmers want some reassurance from their state government that they will be supported if severe drought returns,” he said.

“During the last drought, the government provided transport subsidies which allowed farmers to claim back some of the costs associated with the transport of fodder, as well as water infrastructure rebates.”

The Minister has 35 days to answer Mr Marshall’s questions on the notice paper.
Mr Marshall’s questions to the Minister for Agriculture and Minister for Regional NSW are:

1. Can you advise when the Government will officially recognise that rural and regional New South Wales is in the grip of drought conditions?
2. What assistance packages has the Government developed to assist rural and regional communities and primary producers survive a prolonged drought?
3. When will the Government announce and make available drought assistance to the rural sector?

19 October 2023

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