NSW government urged to honour drought rebate commitment

NSW Farmers today urged the NSW Government to address its own budgetary issues and stop passing them onto drought affected farmers.

The association’s comments follow news that one of the government’s rebate programs for drought affected farmers had been fully subscribed and that farmers were being dis-encouraged from applying a week before the application deadline passed.
NSW Farmers President Fiona Simson said that many farmers around the state had spent or borrowed thousands of dollars to install essential water infrastructure in good faith and with the knowledge that up to 75 percent of that expenditure would be rebatable.
“However this week, many have gone to finalise their applications on the Rural Assistance Authority’s website and have been met with the news that the scheme is committed and that they should no longer apply,” she said.
"Not only is the funding from this financial year fully subscribed but funding for the next financial year, which has not even commenced, is also fully subscribed.
“Nowhere has it ever said that rebates will expire once the funds are fully committed. The federal and state governments have a duty of care to farmers who are struggling through drought to ensure that their applications are reviewed and that rebates are made available.
“We urge farmers to ignore what the authority’s website is saying and to still submit their applications because our association is going to keep applying political pressure at the state and federal level until their commitments to our farmers are honoured,” Ms Simson said.
Meanwhile, the association has written to the Premier Mike Baird urging him to visit a drought declared region in the state so that he can see how it is impacting on grass roots farmers and to prevent decisions like this being made in the future.

25 June 2014 


Contact: Amy Beasley

Phone: 02 9478 1076

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