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Drought assistance package announced

Published on Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Drought assistance package announced

The state’s record-breaking drought continues to bite with farmers and rural communities bearing the brunt of the crisis.
 
While some regions have experienced rain during the past few months, 97 per cent of the state remains in drought, and the seasonal outlook remains bleak with the Bureau of Meteorology forecasting drier than average conditions.
 
That is why the NSW Nationals in Government have today announced an Emergency Drought Relief package, bringing the total funding to more than $1.8 billion across the state, to further support farmers and regional communities.
 
I understand the effect this drought is having on our regional economy, communities and families.
 
The extension of the Emergency Drought Relief package means more assistance for primary producers, more infrastructure to provide safe and secure water supplies, and investments aimed at stimulating the local economy.
 
It means the social and economic viability of rural and regional communities remains intact. And this is my priority – we are all in this together.
   
NSW Emergency Drought Relief Package 

  1. On-farm measures
  2. $176 million to boost on-farm Emergency Drought Relief programs from 2018-19. This funding will help alleviate some of the immediate financial pressures facing our farmers and include:
    • $50 million to support Local Land Services to provide one-year relief from annual rates, including general rates and rates for animal health, pest animals/pest management, meat industry, RSMP and Stock ID;
    • $70 million to continue to rebate of transport costs for fodder, stock and water, up to a cap of $40,000 in 2019-20 per farming enterprise;
    • $10 million to remove payment of interest charges on Farm Innovation Fund loans for next financial year;
    • $30 million to allow WaterNSW to continue providing a rebate of fixed charges on water licences that don't receive an allocation;
    • $9.6 million to continue the current measures which reduce the cost of farming and assist with reducing immediate cash flow pressures – these measures include apiary and wild dog border fence fees;
    • $7 million for exemptions for registration fees for agricultural vehicles.

2. Off-Farm Measures

  • A new $170 million Drought Infrastructure and Stimulus Package has been established, which will include capital investment of $15.4 million in rural and regional activities in 2019-20.
  • A further $35 million will be directed into a support package for off-farm drought relief measures in 2019-20 to support affected communities.
  • Expand the existing drought support package programs, including:
    • $1.15m for increased sport grants for communities;
    • $7.325m support for mental health measures for drought affected communities, coordination of drought and wellbeing events by 7 additional Drought Peer Support Workers, more farm-gate councillors, Aboriginal well-being initiatives and a Youth Drought summit;
    • $950k for Far West Drought support team and small grants program;
    • $5.2m for a support package for pre-school children;
    • $5m to improve skills pathways. This will allow farm workers to build additional skills and work in alternate jobs during times of drought and provides costs associated with attaining traineeships for young unemployed people in remote areas.

 
In addition, $69.6 million has been committed to improving water security and infrastructure.
 
I understand that it’s not just the farmers who are struggling – this drought is hurting our local businesses and communities – and as your local MP, I am determined to make sure nobody gets left behind.
 
For more detail on available drought support measures, visit www.droughthub.nsw.gov.au

For details on my drought package announcements, visit 

http://www.adammarshall.com.au/drought-750-million-more-support-for-farmers-and-rural-communities/

http://www.adammarshall.com.au/new-drought-assistance-package-explained/ 

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