Government Support welcomed by farmers

NSW Farmers today hailed the NSW Government’s in-drought support for farmers in the north west as a breakthrough for those who had been managing extremely dry conditions for more than 18 months.

The association had been advocating for interim in-drought support measures for farmers in the Walgett, Brewarrina and Bourke areas of the state for several months now.

NSW Farmers President Fiona Simson said farmers were particularly pleased with the transport assistance which formed part of its $7.6 million emergency support measures announced today by the Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner and Minister for Primary Industries Katrina Hodgkinson.

Ms Simson said: “Farmers in the north west have been preparing and managing drought for more than 18 months with some spending more than $150,000 to manage the drought. Crops were not planted because there was not enough soil moisture and most livestock farmers have destocked by selling or sending stock away on agistment and have fed remaining stock from stored fodder reserves or buying feed in.

“The minister is correct when she says no matter how well producers may prepare for drought, it is impossible to completely drought-proof a property

“This announcement has come at a critical time for farmers in the north west who are particularly grateful the government has understood that primary production is critical to the north west communities and that by helping farmers, it is also helping preserve the social and economic fabric of the community at large.

“Hundreds of millions of dollars have been lost to local communities due to the drought. This assistance will help farmers with short term cash flow problems and put them in a better position to get back on their feet quickly when the drought breaks. 

“Our industry is thankful the government has listened to our association and the farmers in the north west and announced these in-drought measures,” she concluded.

Ms Simson said NSW Farmers will continue working with both the state and federal governments to develop a drought policy framework that provides measures for preparedness, in-event and recovery stages of a drought.

She also noted that there is an increasing area of the state that is experiencing very dry conditions, missing out on recent rainfall.  Farmers are, and should be looking at taking preparedness measures now to manage what looks to be a drier summer.

Contact: Veneta Chapple

Phone: 0429 990 218

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