With 99 per cent of NSW now in drought, the Emergency Drought Relief Package will bring the total drought support to over $1 billion.
The package will provide $190 million for Drought Transport Subsidies. The subsidies will cover up to 50 per cent of the full cost of transporting fodder, water for stock and livestock to pasture, slaughter or sale.
The relief measure will be back-dated so farmers can access additional subsidies for freight expenses incurred since 1 January 2018.
The package will include $100 million for reducing the cost of farming fees and charges and $150 million for the Farm Innovation Fund (FIF) infrastructure program.
Funding will also go towards:
- counselling and mental health
- critical services in regional communities including transporting water and drought related road upgrades and repairs
- animal welfare and stock disposal.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro said this drought has quickly worsened across NSW because June and July were drier than expected.
“We said we would constantly reassess the conditions and relief measures, and the fact we’ve now increased our drought-relief package to over $1 billion is a reflection of how serious this drought is, and how much we value the health and wellbeing of our farming and regional communities,” Mr Barilaro said.
The NSW Rural Assistance Authority will begin processing applications from 6 August 2018.