Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall, right, talking to Judy and Gary Elks last November after they had their property near Ebor burnt out as part of the Bees Nest bushfire.
Thursday, 16 April 2020
DESPITE the continued focus on COVID-19 pandemic, farmers and landholders burnt out by this season’s horrific bushfires have not been forgotten and are still receiving vital support, Member for Northern Tablelands and Minister for Agriculture Adam Marshall announced today.
Mr Marshall released figures showing that across the Northern Tablelands, including the Tenterfield local government area (LGA), 190 landholders had received more than $12 million in financial support in the last three months, through the NSW Special Disaster Primary Producer grant program.
The program, established in late January this year, provides a grant of up to $75,000 to every eligible primary producer within bushfire-impacted areas during the 2019/20 bushfire season.
“This program has been a huge success, with around $70 million put into the pockets of bushfire-affected farmers right across the State and it’s great to see our region’s primary producers taking advantage of these grants too,” Mr Marshall said.
“Farmers can use the grant for any costs associated with repairing and rebuilding infrastructure on their properties and the application process is very simple, which is one of the reasons why the take up rate has been so high.
“It’s by far and away the most flexible and easy to access support grant farmers have seen a very long time.
“I’m delighted the program has been taken up and used to support the rebuilding and viability of many of our region’s farms and farming businesses.
“On top of drought, the bushfires were another massive blow for our farmers and rural communities and I’m glad this money is doing a lot of good to help them recover.”
Mr Marshall said the program would draw to a close on 30 June this year and urged any farmers who hadn’t accessed the grant yet, to do so before the deadline.
Applications can be made via the NSW Rural Assistance Authority, either by calling 1800 678 593 or online at www.raa.nsw.gov.au/disaster-assistance/special-disaster-grant-bushfires
“After the devastating summer we had, I don’t want to see any eligible farmer in the region miss out on this grant,” Mr Marshall said.
Details of approved applications and fund distributed, as at 14 April 2020:
LGA Farmers approved Value of grants
Armidale Regional 76 $4,923,811
Glen Innes Severn 36 $2,109,906
Gwydir 8 $523,390
Inverell 6 $339,200
Tenterfield 56 $3,636,332
Uralla 8 $559,600
Total 190 $12,161,239