NSW Farmers welcomes the NSW Government’s commitment to building strong regions with special emphasis on health and education in the 2021-2022 State Budget, and acknowledges the commitment to date to support farmers.
President of NSW Farmers, James Jackson, said it was pleasing to see a focus on building strong regional communities following drought, bushfires, floods, covid-19 and the mouse plague.
“We welcome $1.9 billion to build and repair regional schools and hospitals. In order to have thriving regional towns, health and education infrastructure needs to be up to scratch.”
“It’s also great to see the state government matching the federal government’s commitment to improving the Great Western Highway with $2 billion allocated to the project.”
“NSW Farmers was also pleased to see additional funding of $268.2 million (co-funded with the Commonwealth Government) in response to the NSW bushfire inquiry,” Mr Jackson said.
Other Budget highlights for 2021-2022 include:
• $176.9 million to address biosecurity risks, including $35 million for fighting exotic biosecurity threats.
• $79.5m from the Regional Job Creation Fund to incentivise and attract business and job creation in regions.
• $50 million for mobile coverage.
• $47.9 million for the Farms of the Future Program.
• $40 million for Local Land Services initiatives.
• $38.2 million for round two of the Commonwealth Government’s Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate Program.
• $36.4 million for 57 mental health specialists for regional NSW.
However, NSW Farmers was disappointed the Budget didn’t include additional funding for some farming and agricultural specific initiatives that would help us reach our growth goal of becoming a $30 billion industry by 2030.
“The good news is this has been a regionally-focused Budget which will see country communities benefit with improved infrastructure and services, however, it would have been great to see more ag sector initiatives including funding for pest netting, development support to attract and retain young farmers and immediate workforce solutions,” Mr Jackson said.