NSW Farmers has welcomed the State Government’s latest round of drought assistance funding and a $245 million commitment to fast track the upgrade of Wyangla Dam and construction of the Dungowan Dam.
The NSW Coalition has announced an extra $310 million in emergency drought relief, which includes ongoing support for transport subsidies, waivers for Local Land Service rates, and assistance for vehicle registration costs for eligible primary producers.
“This is the sort of ongoing support from government that NSW Farmers has been asking for,” said NSW Farmers’ President James Jackson.
“They are timely and practical support measures to assist farmers to continue producing the food and fibre that the country needs.”
“This drought is the worst of record for many parts of NSW. While there has been good rain across much of the state, over 90% is still in drought and some farmers are facing intensifying drought conditions.”
“After severe drought, massive bushfires and COVID-19 restrictions, all dollars saved by the continuation of these measures are dollars that can be put toward fast tracking of essential food and fibre production for all Australians.”
“We do remind the State Government that our oyster farmers are in desperate need of further support and we are calling for the immediate waiver of all ongoing government fees for the industry.”
The Coalition also announced $245 million to commence Stage 1 of the upgrade of the Wyangala Dam in the Central West, Dungowan Dam near Tamworth and investigations into a third dam on the Mole River near Tenterfield.
“Secure water availability is critical for drought proofing the regions and these dam expansions are important step in drought preparedness,” Mr Jackson said.
“This action from the State Government is in sharp contrast with the Commonwealth. It’s been 19 months since the announcement of the Future Drought Fund but farmers are still waiting on any information on what this funding can be used for and how this funding will flow.”
Mr Jackson said NSW Farmers is calling on the Commonwealth to provide additional funding for the highly successful water infrastructure rebate scheme and to speed up the assessment and delivery of concessional Recovery loans.