NSW drought relief initiatives welcome - Dairy Connect

Advocacy group Dairy Connect has welcomed today’s announcement of stepped-up drought relief measures by the New South Wales Government.

CEO Shaughn Morgan said the announcement brings NSW more closely in line with measures operating in neighbouring States.

The NSW Government announced a $500 million NSW Emergency Drought Relief Package to help farmers manage the effects of lingering drought.

Major elements of the $500 million NSW Emergency Drought Relief Package include: $190 million for Drought Transport Subsidies; $100 million for cutting the cost of farming fees and charges – by waiving Local Land Services rates, waiving fixed water charges in rural and regional areas, and waiving class one agricultural vehicle registration costs.

The package also includes $150 million to bolster the Farm Innovation Fund infrastructure program; counselling and mental health; critical services in regional communities, including transporting water and drought related road upgrades and repairs; and animal welfare and stock disposal.

Today’s $500 million allocation takes the total NSW Government Drought Assistance Package to $1.1 Billion.

The NSW Rural Assistance Authority will begin processing applications for drought transport subsidies from Monday, 6 August 2018, which can be backdated to 1 January 2018.

“We should not underestimate the long-term consequences of this disastrous 1 in a 100 year drought which is financially crippling the dairy and livestock sectors,” Shaughn Morgan said.

“Many farmers are desperately scrambling for feed to keep precious livestock alive as the drought drags on through its second year.

“Paddocks have been picked clean in New South Wales, parts of Queensland and South Australia.

“Livestock producers and dairy farmers all need fodder supplies and short supply and demand are forcing prices up.

“Some producers are paying around $350 a tonne for grain.”

NSW dairy farmers are encouraged to review the package immediately and to apply for such support as they require so as to assist in keeping fed their livestock.

More information on the package can be found here: https://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/climate-and-emergencies/droughthub/emergency-drought-relief-package.