Immediate relief missing from drought package

NSW Farmers Association is disappointed the NSW Minister for Primary Industries has failed to address the immediate and urgent needs of those battling drought conditions in the state's north west despite offers to those affected by future droughts.
 

The association had called for urgent assistance with transport subsidies and low interest loans to assist farmers with some of the toughest climatic conditions for over 60 years after extensive consultation with its farmers in north west NSW.  

President of NSW Farmers Fiona Simson said that while the range of measures announced was a recognition of the situation, many of them would not provide any direct relief. 

“Farmers have been telling us they have been experiencing dry conditions for 18 months but that the areas of Bourke, Brewarrina and Walgett are already in drought,” she said. 

“While the Minister states she is ‘actively considering other measures to assist landholders’ and we look forward to participating in those discussions, we need urgent measures put in place without delay like Queensland has done.

“These farmers and communities are hurting now and every extra day compounds their situation.” 

Ms Simson added that it was encouraging that some of the preparedness measures were being funded - something that had been absent in previous drought arrangements

“But as the current conditions show, despite preparing for drought by storing grain and fodder, and making proactive management decisions around the selling of stock or putting in watering systems, sometimes there is just nothing that can be done to completely drought proof a farm.” 

NSW Farmers had always advocated drought policy needed to be three pronged which includes general agricultural profitability policy measures, preparedness measures and in-drought support.
 

Contact: Veneta Chapple

Phone: 0429 990 218

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