The NSW Drought Package includes the extension of the Farm Innovation Fund and short term emergency support for primary producers in the midst of drought.
While launching the package in Tamworth, Premier Mike Baird said that he had seen the devastating impact drought could have on primary producers and that he understood the challenges faced by regional and rural communities.
“Our policy provides short term assistance for those in need, but also puts in place a long-term, fully-funded strategy to enable primary producers to become more resilient and productive, which will lead to greater output from our regional economies,” Mr Baird said.
Deputy Premier Troy Grant said the package would deliver a more transparent and targeted system of drought support, including $250 million in low interest loans over 5 years to continue the Farm Innovation Fund.
“We have been listening to our regional communities and are delivering the vital support they need to survive drought, including a further $366 million under our Water Security for Regions program.”
The package also delivers:
- $45 million over 5 years in scholarships for farmers to undertake vocational training and farm business planning to prepare for future droughts.
- $5 million over 5 years to provide transport assistance for animal welfare and donated fodder within NSW.
- $2.5 million to work with the Bureau of Meteorology to develop an enhanced network of weather stations across NSW.
- Work with the Commonwealth Government and farming communities to develop a commercial multi-peril insurance product for the cropping sector.
- Ongoing investment in research and development through the Department of Primary Industries.