CWA welcomes support for drought stricken farmers
THE Country Women's Association of NSW has welcomed the NSW Government's announcement of support for drought stricken farmers.
The Government has announced an Emergency Drought Support Package worth $500 million which includes:
- $190 million for Drought Transport Subsidies;
- $100 million for cutting the cost of farming fees and charges, ie. Local Land Services rates, water charges and registration costs for one vehicle;
- $150 million for the Farm Innovation Fund infrastructure program; and
- Some funding for counselling and mental health; animal welfare and stock disposal; and critical services in regional communities such as drought-related road upgrade, and the transport of water.
"We are so glad the NSW Government has taken this step as farmers across the state continue to struggle to keep their businesses running in the face of one of the worst droughts in recent memory," NSW CWA president Annette Turner said.
"We have been calling for months for the NSW Government to not only acknowledge the extent of this drought disaster, but to also put in place some meaningful assistance that will make some difference where it's needed most."
Member for Coffs Harbour Andrew Fraser said this package now takes the government's drought support to more than $1 billion, with $584 million announced in June 2018.
"A major feature of this package is the introduction of transport subsidies, this measure recognises the fact that in many areas people have been forced to cart fodder because the local supply is drying up," he said.
"We will also backdate this measure to earlier in the year when we began to see conditions deteriorate."