$15.6m support package for drought-affected farmers
The funding boost comes as a prelude to the National Drought Program, which is due to begin on 1 July 2014. It is part of an existing funding program that has contributed $30 million to drought affected farms in 27 local government areas (LGA’s) across NSW since November 2013.
The new funding will provide temporary financial support to 3 additional LGAs, backdated to 1 February 2014. The temporary emergency assistance package will continue until 30 June 2014, and will include:
- up to $20,000 per producer in the form of a Transport Assistance Reimbursement;
- up to $50,000 per producer for Emergency Water Infrastructure Grants (up to $30,000 from the NSW Government with a top-up of up to $20,000 from the Commonwealth); and
- waiving of Western Lands Lease payments, Local Land Services rates and Wild Dog Destruction Board rates for a six-month period to 30 June 2014, where applicable.
Minister for Primary Industries Katrina Hodgkinson said a number of areas have missed out on crucial Autumn rain, with some regions now going into winter with insufficient carryover feed for livestock.
“Parts of western and north western NSW received patchy falls in April and May, which has done little to replenish soil moisture levels after a hot and dry summer,” Ms Hodgkinson said.