Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald MLC has welcomed this morning’s announcement by the Premier, Deputy Premier and Minister for Primary Industries of a further $500 million Emergency Drought Relief Package.
Today’s announcement takes the total drought response by the NSW Liberal National Government to over $1 billion.
The three major elements of the $500 million Emergency Drought Relief Package are:
- Approximately $190 million for Drought Transport Subsidies;
- Approximately $100 million for cutting the cost of farming fees and charges – by waiving Local Land Services rates, waiving fixed water charges in rural and regional areas, and waiving class one agricultural vehicle registration costs, among other initiatives, and
- $150 million to bolster the Farm Innovation Fund (FIF) infrastructure program.
The package also includes funding for:
- Counselling and mental health;
- Critical services in regional communities including transporting water and drought related road upgrades and repairs;
- Animal welfare and stock disposal.
“I thank the Premier, Deputy Premier and Minister for Primary Industries for continuing to listen to the agricultural and farming community.”
“Today’s announcement follows a successful NSW Farmer’s Conference in Sydney, where the Premier committed to remain in contact with the farming community.”
“Again, I would reiterate that it is important farmers don't self-assess their eligibility.”
“They should talk to their Local Land Services or Rural Assistance Authority. RAA can be contacted on 1800 678 593 or website www.raa.nsw.gov.au. Hunter LLS can be contacted on (02) 4930 1030 and www.hunter.lls.nsw.gov.au.”
The NSW Rural Assistance Authority will begin processing applications from Monday August 6. For more information on the NSW Government’s emergency drought relief package visit www.droughthub.nsw.gov.au