Namoi News

Namoi News

21

Aug

2019

GOVERNMENT VOTES AGAINST PROVIDING REAL DROUGHT SUPPORT

Press Release - Roy Butler

The Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party put on the table in Parliament a drought package that would provide real support to farmers and farming communities, disappointingly the Government voted against supporting them.

The SFF drought package includes immediate cash grants, to allow creditors to be paid, cash rebates for local government rates, transitioning legacy loans to zero or low interest loans, the establishment of a re-sowing and re-stocking grant and providing financial support for employers to retain employees on farm and in local businesses.

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11

Aug

2019

Harrisia cactus is moving south, reaches Narrabri

It has been likened to a "fire front" that spreads five to 10 kilometres every year. But now there have been reports harrisia cactus has been found as far south as Narrabri and farmers want to the NSW Government to step up to control the weed that has a barb-like spear.

NSW Farmers' have called on the State Government to fund a concerted effort to control harrisia cactus in NSW, including biological options, and work with the Queensland Government to stop cross border re infestation.

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8

Aug

2019

LIBERAL-NATIONAL GOVERNMENT DENIES OPPORTUNITY FOR ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MURRAY-DARLING BASIN PLAN

The Liberal-National Government has denied regional communities the opportunity for transparency, voting down a motion for a Royal Commission into the Murray-Darling Basin Plan. 

The motion introduced by the Shadow Minister for Water, Clayton Barr to Parliament last night called on the Liberal-National Government to “endorse the position of the NSW National Party Leader and Deputy Premier for a Royal Commission into the Murray Darling Basin Plan for the purpose of openness, transparency and accountability”.

The motion was defeated by three votes (47-44), with Labor and the crossbench voting for it with and The Nationals joining the Liberals to defeat it.

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6

Aug

2019

Barwon MP Roy Butler presents Terms of Reference for independent inquiry into water management

Member for Barwon, Roy Butler is calling on the NSW Government to commit to an inquiry into aspects of New South Wales water management and their impacts on the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.

Mr Butler’s call for an independent inquiry comes after consultation with communities, irrigators, graziers, towns, water researchers and ecologists, all of whom raised serious concerns about government decision making in relation to water management.

“I’m calling for an inquiry to restore public confidence, and identify how certain decisions contributed to the current conditions in western NSW,” said Mr Butler. 

“I have discussed the inquiry with Minister Pavey and provided her with the draft Terms of Reference. In our conversation, I emphasised that this inquiry is needed to restore the public’s confidence in the NSW water planning and management processes.

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30

Jul

2019

Barwon MP Roy Butler says Santos trying to pressure govt

The Land Newspaper

SANTOS'S predictions that its Narrabri Gas Project will be approved by the end of the year have been labelled a brazen attempt to pressure the government.

When Santos chief executive Kevin Gallagher told Ticky Fullerton on Sky News in May the company expected approval by "year end" there were a few eyebrows raised.

Barwon MP Roy Butler told The Land: "this is not coming from the government, the company is trying to force a government decision on the back of the Adani Carmichael coal mine approval (in Queensland)."

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19

Jul

2019

Roy Butler Member for Barwan in the News this week

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19

Jul

2019

Do I Have to Pay My Interns

By Julian Parsons - Sydney

Do you have to pay your interns?

The short answer is yes and no.

Under Australian law, you must financially compensate anyone who comes to your workplace to contribute through ‘productive work’.

However, there are perfectly legal ways to bring on unpaid interns in a meaningful capacity that supports the goals of both employee and employer.

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19

Jul

2019

Narrabri in the News this week

 A number of articles appeared in the news this week click the link to read them all.
Summary
Santos providing requested information about Narrabri project: Barwon MP
Barwon MP Roy Butler still concerned about CSG impact on Narrabri groundwater despite Santos ...
Govt to talk land acquisitions along Narromine to Narrabri with farmers for Inland Rail
Barwon MP Roy Butler still concerned about CSG impact on Narrabri groundwater despite Santos ...
Whitehaven growth defies softening coal markets
Community celebrates NAIDOC
More Dividends Likely From Whitehaven Coal
Safety first for Whitehaven
The ARTC will begin meeting with affected landowners in the Narromine section
Rail crossing danger concerns resident
 

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17

Jul

2019

When Will the Government Listen

Call this drought what it is - a Natural Disaster

This drought is breaking records, pushing families and communities to the brink − and it’s getting worse.

Across NSW, it’s drier than many have seen in their lifetimes. Farms that have never in their hundred-plus year history destocked, have sold all their livestock.

Farmers that had enough hay in storage for years of drought have used their last bale.

Farmers that have never complained, have gotten on with the job, have put food on tables across the world − are asking for assistance.

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24

Jun

2019

We need to support those who are supporting our Farmers

Roy Butler, Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party MP

Rural Financial Counsellors are the link between drought stricken farmers and government support.

There is an alarming rate of turnover and vacancies within these financial counselling positions that would appear to be due to the under resourcing and lack of support for these crucial roles.

Currently Rural Financial Counsellors are effectively hosted by the State Government and funded by the Commonwealth Government, this arrangement has varied over the life of this important service.

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15

Jun

2019

Environment Minister floats 'lending' Murray Darling environmental water to farmers

Australia's key piece of environment legislation, the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, is due to be reviewed this year.

Ms Ley said it provided "real opportunity to remove some of the green tape around environmental approvals" while maintaining the integrity of the laws.

"If you're an investor and you've got a proposal … it's reasonable that we accept your investment isn't just going to be parked for years, sometimes, until the issues have been worked through," she said.

"I think we just need to give proponents more assurances along the way."

Ms Ley said she did not intend to shut down court challenges to development decisions, however, "it's not being done in a timely enough manner".

Australian Conservation Foundation nature campaign manager Basha Stasak said talk about cutting green tape was "code for making it easier for the loggers to cut down our forests, the diggers to rip up endangered animal habitat and corporate irrigators to suck more water out of our rivers".

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14

Jun

2019

North West Local Land Sevices - Newsletter and Workshops coming up

Local Land Services Newsletter is packed with information and Services available across the region. Workshops and help is available for those struggling with the dry times. Feel free to reach out to the new staff in Narrabri, have a read of the Newsletter for items that just might help. 

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11

Jun

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.

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11

Jun

2019

'You’ll send yourself broke feeding cows': drought ravaged communities get budget boost

More than $350 million in emergency assistance will be set aside for NSW’s drought ravaged regions in next week’s state budget, with close to half of the cash aimed at stimulating the economies of languishing rural communities.

The new drought funding will be split in half, with $170 million allocated to aid the small towns and regional centres that service the state’s farmers.

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5

Jun

2019

Barwon MP Roy Butler calls for changes to weight requirements for harvested kangaroo carcasses

Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party MP, Roy Butler is calling on the NSW Government to lower the minimum harvested kangaroo carcase weight to 13kg to encourage commercial harvesting. 

Across western NSW, kangaroos are suffering unnecessarily slow cruel deaths due to the lack of water and feed available.

Despite a fall in red kangaroo population reported by the Office of Environment and Heritage, estimated numbers of grey kangaroos has increased[1]. The high kangaroo numbers have failed to be managed by current commercial harvesting rules.

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5

Jun

2019

Australia's cotton production halved as drought and low to no water allocation takes its toll

Australia's cotton production has been halved this season with drought and low-to-no water allocation for most growers taking a toll on crops.

Key points:

  • Australia's cotton crop is expected to be 2.1 million bales — about half the previous season's yield
  • Cotton Australia's chief executive says the national crop will still generate around $1.5 billion
  • He said it will not affect the global market, nor will it increase prices

While cotton picking and ginning was still underway throughout New South Wales and Queensland, Cotton Australia chief executive Adam Kay forecast the 2018/19 national crop would be around 2.1 million bales. 

"It will still generate about $1.5 billion dollars worth of export income, but production is less than half of the previous season and we expect next season it will halve again," Mr Kay said. 

"It's been a tough year, and there was this idea that cotton was somehow not impacted by drought — it's not right, the crop size halved, and it's been a very difficult year."

Mr Kay said water availability had driven yields down, which ranged from seven to 14 bales a hectare for irrigated cotton crops.

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3

Jun

2019

Spotlight Winter Publication from Cotton Research and Development.

Welcome to the Winter edition of CRDC's Spotlight magazine! 

In this edition:

  • Exercise Blueprint: focusing on biosecurity preparedness
  • Cotton & grains collaborating on Helicoverpa control
  • Girls to the front: celebrating women in cotton and science

... plus much more!

Spotlight will be landing in the mailboxes of our subscribers this week: the first week of winter.

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30

May

2019

'Myley's law': parents of six-year-old quad bike victim want change

Sydney Morning Herald

Josh Maxwell wants it to be known as "Myley's law": a series of coronial recommendations that, if implemented, could prevent tragedies similar to the one which took the life of his six-year-old daughter.

Myley Maxwell was one of two young passengers on a quad bike being driven by a 13-year-old girl on a property near Narrabri, in the state's west, when it collided with a tree.

She succumbed to head injuries soon after.

"It’s something that we, the family have got to deal with for the rest of our lives. But if we can make change to prevent other children being put in this position, we’ve done our job as parents," Mr Maxwell said outside the NSW Coroner's Court in Lidcombe on Thursday morning.

The grieving North West NSW father's comments came after Deputy State Coroner Elizabeth Ryan handed down her findings following in inquest into Myley's death, among them that adults face criminal prosecution for allowing children under 16 to ride adult-sized quad bikes.

She also recommended the NSW Attorney-General consider introducing legislation making it an offence for adults to allow children to ride any quad bike without a helmet, and legislation making it easier for police to be able to enter properties where they suspected an offence had occurred.

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29

May

2019

Freight costs drive global performance for Australia’s agricultural commodities

Freight costs continue to dampen Australia’s competitiveness on the international commodities market with a new report out today showing that logistics are the largest single cost item in the production of many agricultural products.

AgriFutures Australia commissioned Deloitte Access Economics to investigate farm transport costs from paddock to port for a sector that sees roughly two-thirds of food and fibre exported.

John Harvey, AgriFutures Australia Managing Director said that freight costs are critical to maintaining Australia’s global competitiveness and will continue to impact agriculture’s export performance into the future.

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Categories: Rural News, Agriculture

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29

May

2019

Water investment companies score bumper year as farmers hit by drought

Anne Davies - The Guardian Australia

Irrigators are asking whether lack of transparency and speculation by big players is adding to price increases

As drought grips the country, the investment companies that have moved into the water market are looking at a bumper year, even as farmers prepare for the worst.

Companies such as Duxton Water, which holds 75GL of water in the Murray-Darling basin, and the ill-fated Blue Sky Investments, are now major players in the water-trading market. Unlike some of the big irrigators which also have large holdings, they do not have significant farming enterprises on which to use their water and will be banking on thirsty crops to drive up prices.

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27

May

2019

SANTOS DENIES GOVERNMENT REQUEST

Energy company Santos has come under fire, for refusing to provide the state government with key information about its Narrabri development.

The company recently submitted an application for the 95,000-hectare coal seam gas project.

But it’s reportedly refused multiple requests for information from the Environment Protection Authority, the Rural Fire Service and Narrabri Shire Council.

The company has also denied an EPA request to assess whether the site can accommodate large volumes of salt waste.

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24

May

2019

NSW cotton grower faces more charges over water pumped from Barwon river

The New South Wales regulator has laid more charges against one of the state’s biggest cotton growers, Peter Harris, alleging that in August 2015 he extracted water from the Barwon river when the meters on his pumps weren’t working.

The documents filed in the land and environment court charge Harris with two counts of taking water when the metering equipment was not working, in contravention of the Water Management Act. The breach is alleged to have occurred between 6 and 8 August 2015 at a property called Mercadool near Walgett, and involves two separate pumps on the property.

Two types meters – one measuring the engine running time and the other measuring flow – were alleged to have been not working properly on both pumps.

This is the second round of charges brought against Harris since Four Corners first aired allegations that large irrigators were taking water illegally from the Barwon-Darling and the NSW government had turned a blind eye. An independent inquiry by Ken Matthews was scathing of the NSW government and recommended immediate changes to the enforcement function, which has now been taken over by the Natural Resources Access regulator.

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24

May

2019

NSW towns including Dubbo and Tamworth face water emergency within months

Towns in western and central New South Wales, including Dubbo, Nyngan, Cobar, Walgett and Tamworth, are facing a crisis in their water supplies within a few months unless it rains, prompting emergency planning by water authorities.

And on properties throughout the Murray-Darling basin, irrigators are bracing for their water entitlements to be reduced to around 10% of their usual allocations, which will severely constrain agricultural production.

A week before the election, the Murray–Darling Basin Authority issued a “sobering assessment” of the outlook for the Murray Darling river system in the communique from its monthly meeting.

“Since July 2018, inflows to the River Murray System have remained in the driest 7% of records, the head of River Management,” the executive director, Andrew Reynolds, told the board.

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22

May

2019

New ‘no rules’ trading environment unsettles Australian agricultural exports

New research shows uncertainty from ongoing bilateral trade wars between China and the United States have set the global trading environment back decades and undermined Australian agricultural exports.

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Categories: Rural News, Agriculture

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14

May

2019

A Harbinger of Things to Come’: Farmers in Australia Struggle With Its Hottest Drought Ever

By Casey Quackenbush | Photographs by Adam Ferguson for TIME February 21, 2019

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13

May

2019

NSW water woes worsen with river to dry up as tomato town faces crisis

The drought gripping much of NSW is tightening, forcing authorities to prepare to cut flows along a major river in the north west, while job losses loom as towns in the Northern Tablelands start to dry.

WaterNSW on Monday will announce that unless conditions improve, regulated flows along the Macquarie River below the town of Warren will cease from early spring to prioritise water supplies for towns and key users.

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12

May

2019

Cotton farmer defends water use in drought-hit Murray-Darling Basin, as ecologists warn of 'tipping point'

Cotton has become a contentious crop in this drought.

Farmer Andrew Watson, from Boggabri in north-west New South Wales, says some of the criticism of irrigators has been vicious.

"Having seen some death threats … it just shows there's a real lack of understanding of how the systems work," he said. 

"We only use the water that's allocated to us."

It's harvest time and Mr Watson says this year's crop is down.

"We've actually had a real shortfall in water. So the crop outcome is not very good," he said.

"We're probably going to produce an outcome that's about 70 per cent of what we'd like to produce."

Unless there's significant rain, next year will be worse.

 

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12

May

2019

Inquiry into Inland Rail supported by CWA of NSW State Conference in Albury

The map that does not make sense (unless you are the owner of the red box ie Santos).

No business case has been released for this greenfield rerouting of the Inland Rail right through the Pilliga forest (no farms in there!) and the CWA have now joined NSW Farmers and Labor in the call for an inquiry.

"The conference voted to request the federal government hold an independent inquiry into the green field routes and funding for the inland rail project."

https://www.bordermail.com.au/story/6117549/what-we-are-lobbying-for-just-makes-sense-cwa-leader-says/

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11

May

2019

Bipartisan stalemate deprives farmers of workers

National Farmers

Another harvest has come and gone, and agriculture’s acute labour shortage has deepened. Politicians continue to tinker with existing labour programs but they so far, lack the courage to deliver a realistic, comprehensive solution: an Agriculture Visa.

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9

May

2019

Is Morrison's $22m promise too little, too late?

The Land

The Coalition has promised to appoint a dedicated Australian Competition and Consumer Commission "dairy specialist" if re-elected on May 18.

The announcement follows calls from some NSW dairy farmers for a Federal Dairy Commissioner with the powers of a royal commissioner.

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26

Oct

2018

Feral pests looking for food and water offers chance to control numbers, expert says

ABC News

Author: Kate

The impact of the drought on wild animals offers a chance to try to get on top of pest numbers, a land service officer has said.

The widespread nature of the drought is affecting more than just livestock and wildlife, with feral animals also struggling to find food and water.

This is bringing them closer to areas where humans are present as they compete with livestock for resources.

Central Tablelands Local Land Service senior officer, Paul Gibb, said the congregation of pest animals around water sources offered opportunities for landholders.

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26

Oct

2018

New $5 billion future drought fund to help farmers battle changing climates

ABC News

Author: Kate

Helping farmers prepare for future droughts will be the focus of a new multi-billion-dollar fund that Prime Minister Scott Morrison will unveil today.

The $5-billion Future Drought Fund will be announced at a national drought summit, which brings together state and federal governments, weather experts, farm lobbyists and charities, in Canberra.

Key points:
The Federal Government will commit an initial $3.9 billion to the fund, with $100 million to be available each year from 2020
Money will be provided for community services, research, technology and infrastructure
Legislation to create the fund will need to pass Parliament
The Federal Government will initially commit $3.9 billion to the fund, which will reach $5 billion by 2028.

But only $100 million will be available each year from 2020, with that money being allocated by a board of guardians.

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25

Oct

2018

Mullaley Drought Taskforce and Mark Coulton prepare for federal drought summit

The Northern Daily Leader Billy Jupp

Author: Kate

THE Mullaley Drought Taskforce is hoping to put forward a range of suggestions via a submission to this Friday’s federal government drought summit in Canberra.

Interest rate subsides, post drought recovery and protecting stock breeding herds are some of what the group of locals will bring to the government’s attention.

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25

Oct

2018

NSW Farmers furious with government

The Land Daniel Pedersen

Author: Kate

NSW Farmers, after months of protracted negotiations with the Australian Rail Track Corporation, has laid the $10 billion Inland Rail project’s shortcomings squarely at the feet of the Coalition Government.

It says the decision to cut a new route across the Pilliga, slicing through farming properties, was ill-conceived and not even properly assessed.

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25

Oct

2018

NSW Farmers furious at Inland Rail land acquirement

Daniel Pedersen Northern Daily Leader

Author: Kate

NSW Farmers, after months of protracted negotiations with the Australian Rail Track Corporation, has laid the $10 billion Inland Rail project’s shortcomings squarely at the feet of the Coalition Government.

It says the decision to cut a new route across the Pilliga, slicing through farming properties, was ill-conceived and not even properly assessed.

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23

Oct

2018

Have you seen Carp in your local waterways

National Carp Survey

Author: Kate

Community help is needed to map carp populations. 

CARPMAP https://carpmap.org.au is an online survey tool to support community surveillance of carp aggregations. Launched by the National Carp Control Plan (NCCP), CARPMAP is being developed by YOU. 

 Photo of Carp
CARPMAP is a joint initiative community surveillance program led by NCCP with support from the Centre for Invasive Species Solutions, the NSW Department of Primary Industries and CSIRO.

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23

Oct

2018

Lake Keepit and Split Rock Dam levels managed by WaterNSW

The Northern Daily Leader Billy Jupp

Author: Kate

WATER levels in Lake Keepit and Split Rock Dam could fall to as a low as 2 per cent and 5 per cent by the end of the year.

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16

Oct

2018

Hundreds gather to celebrate the 2018 Rural Woman of the Year | Photos

Author: Kate

Guests traveled from across Australia to celebrate the mighty contribution of rural and regional women at a gala dinner at Parliament House in Canberra on Monday night. 

Krista Watkins, a banana farmer from Walkamin, North Queensland was named the AgriFutures Australia 2018 Rural Woman of the Year while Darrylin Gordon, from Halls Creek, in Western Australia’s Kimberley region was named runner up. READ MORE.

Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud announced the winners, saying the annual awards had for nearly twenty years recognised and celebrated the achievements of rural women – vital in driving change.

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1

Sep

2018

Drought relief for Rowena

Prime7 news North West August 31

Author: Kate

The first drought charity drop was made to Rowena this week. 

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31

Aug

2018

Rowena farmers call for better long term drought policy

PRIME7 News North West August 30, 2018, 5:50PM

Author: Kate

They're the farmers of the north western plains, where drought is no stranger.

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10

Jul

2018

Gas import spells end of Santos' controversial Narrabri CSG, analysts say

By Cole Latimer & Peter Hannam 9 July 2018 — 2:30pm

Author: Kate

Analysts say four proposed new gas import terminals around Australia have ended Santos’ contentious NSW Narrabri coal seam gas project.

Santos’ Narrabri project is a proposed $3 billion gas operation that has been consistently opposed by environmental groups, and now Macquarie Bank analysts believe the rise of Australian gas import terminals will end all potential government support.

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