As the devastating mice plague continues to ravage large areas of western NSW, the Country Women’s Association (CWA) of NSW has welcomed the assistance package announced by the NSW Government this morning.
The NSW Government has announced a $50 million support package, which includes free of charge grain treatment for farmers and rebates for small businesses and households.
CWA of NSW CEO Danica Leys said it was good news for affected farmers and communities, who have been dealing with the financial and health impacts of the catastrophe for more than six months, and hoped the NSW Government would continue to monitor what was an evolving situation.
“We were hopeful after our meeting with the Agriculture Minister on Monday that they would respond to our calls, and those of the NSW Farmers’ Association, for urgent action on this crisis, and the measures they have announced today do address some of the issues around the high costs to farmers in trying to control the mice in and around their properties, and to small businesses and households in affected towns,” she said.
“After enduring drought, fires and COVID-19, these areas now have a plague to contend with and they’ve been doing it on their own for months. Along with crop, fodder and machinery losses, town businesses have had suffered stock losses and damage, and then they have to deal with the mice invading their homes and impacting their health, both physical and mental.
“This assistance package will provide some relief, and lets these communities know that the NSW Government have acknowledged their plight. We are now hopeful the Government will continue to monitor the crisis and be able to act with further measures as the need arises, and our association and NSW Farmers will continue our advocacy on behalf of these communities for as long as it takes.”
NSW Farmers’ Association President James Jackson said the acknowledgement by the NSW Government of the enormous impact of the plague on rural and regional NSW communities was welcome, with costs of baiting running into the millions of dollars.
“A recent survey we did on this issue emphasised just how much stress this has been placing on farmers and other small businesses as they try to control the mice and the damage they’re doing, so the assistance announced by the NSW Government today is welcome,” he said.
“We look forward to further discussions with the Agriculture Minister on these measures and how they’re going to be implemented, but a timely and efficient rollout is essential, especially with winter planting now underway.”