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$140 million program opens for bushfire impacted forestry, horticulture & agriculture industries

24 May 2020

Bushfire-impacted dairy farmers, fruit growers and forestry businesses are set to benefit from recovery funding to help them get back on their feet and back to work, thanks to the NSW Government’s $140 million Bushfire Industry Recovery Package.

Deputy Premier and Minister responsible for Disaster Recovery John Barilaro said targeted grants would be available to help the forestry, horticulture, apiculture, aquaculture, viticulture and dairy industries retain and create jobs and support them to rebuild, recover and regrow.

“Funding will be available in two streams, with an initial focus on supply chain support grants that will help cover the cost of resuming and maintaining production,” Mr Barilaro said.

Supply chain support grants are available for activities such as:

  • Clean up of damaged orchard equipment or replacing trees, trellises and netting;
  • Repair of vineyards directly damaged by bushfire, including site clean-up;
  • Beekeepers purchasing pollen, pollen subsitutes or sugar to feed their hives;
  • Purchasing oyster spat to replace oysters killed due to ash or fireground run-off;
  • Re-establishing dairy pastures, herd rebuilding and buying or replacing lost fodder;
  • Haulage and storage of burnt forestry timber.

“The second funding stream for sector development grants would support projects that helped affected industries create new jobs, build industry sustainability, increase value-add production and support supply-chain efficiencies.

“One month ago we announced $140 million in funding for our most bushfire affected industries and since then we’ve worked with them directly to design the specific assistance needed to get businesses back on their feet and foster long-term recovery.

“We are providing grants to ensure these key driver industries can continue to generate jobs and economic growth for rural and regional NSW, because bushfire impacted towns that are now enduring COVID-19 cannot afford further job losses and economic downturn.

“We are also backing projects that will boost future industry resilience, things like adopting new manufacturing processes, technology upgrades, productivity improvements for cooperative facilities and industry wide marketing campaigns.”

Minister for Agriculture Adam Marshall said primary producers were still reeling from bushfires which decimated properties and farming enterprises right across NSW, sending shockwaves through the agricultural sector.

“By funding projects that focus on getting primary producers back up and running, we are turbocharging the recovery process, which is exactly what farmers need right now with many still battling through drought as well,” Mr Marshall said.

“It’s going to be a long road to recovery, but the NSW Government will be there every step of the way to make sure our primary producers get the support they need.

“This package is in addition to the more than $80 million that has already been put back into farmers’ pockets through the Special Disaster Grant program, which gives bushfire-affected farmers access to a one-off payment of up to $75,000 to assist with recovery.” 

Applications are now open. For more information, including how to apply, important deadlines, program guidelines and eligibility critiera, please visit nsw.gov.au/bushfire-industry-recovery-package

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