The NSW Government today boosted the State’s Farm Innovation Fund from $650 million to $1 billion – giving farming communities affected by the drought a long-term guarantee that they have a strong future in NSW.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the additional funding brings the NSW Liberals & Nationals investment in drought support to almost $1.5 billion.
“We know that our farmers and drought-affected communities are doing it tough, which is why we are doing everything we can to make sure they have every support they need,” Ms Berejiklian said.
The Farm Innovation Fund has already helped more than 1700 farmers across the State drought-proof their properties, providing low-interest loans to fund capital works such as new cattle yards, solar power systems, silos or bore water systems.
Deputy Premier John Barilaro said the NSW Government is also giving farmers the opportunity to invest in infrastructure that will last for generations by increasing the value of low interest loans available through the Fund from $250,000 up to $1 million.
“The additional $350 million we have added to the Farm Innovation Fund is another signal to our farmers that no matter what conditions you face we will continue to stand side-by-side with you, now and into the future,” Mr Barilaro said.
“We want farmers to approach this fund as a low interest resource they can draw on to make sure they are in a stronger position today to face whatever challenges are coming in the future.
“Every dollar our farmers spend gets circulated through regional towns and cities making this billion dollars an investment in our regional communities.
“The NSW Government will continue to back our farmers who make a living under some of the toughest conditions in the world, growing the food and fibre we all rely on.”
NSW Primary Industries Minister Niall Blair said the NSW Government will further strengthen its Drought Relief Package to provide urgent support for those who need it most.
“When we announced our drought package last year we said we would continually respond to changing conditions and adjust our assistance measures accordingly. Today’s announcement is a reflection of this commitment,” Mr Blair said.
“We know NSW farmers are among the best in the world and that’s why we will continue to stand with them. This fund will back farmers to be even more resilient and better placed when these conditions arise again.”
Key changes include:
- providing an additional $5 million for emergency water supplies to ensure towns have access to safe and reliable water;
- increasing the amount farmers can claim on Drought Transport Subsidies from $30,000 to $40,000; and
- providing an additional $2 million to connect people to support services through the Rural Resilience Program.