A $7.9 million investment will help the dairy industry recover and rebuild from floods, and better prepare for future natural disasters.
The Dairy Sector Recovery Strategy will help the industry recuperate and build long-term resilience after the February-March flooding event earlier this year.
Funding provided from the jointly Commonwealth and NSW Government-funded Storm and Flood Industry Recovery Program (Sector Recovery and Resilience Grants) under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements and $1.6 million from industry co-contributions will help the sector get back on its’ feet.
The funding will deliver 12 projects across three working packages focusing on:
- Better Response and Short-Term Recovery
- Better Preparedness, Lower Risk and Improved Resilience
- Supporting Industry Development
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole said farmers sit in the engine room of the state, pumping more than $13 billion into the economy every year, so it’s critical we help them out.
“Dairy farmers are among the worst hit by this year’s floods and this funding will help ensure our farmers get back on their feet sooner and are better prepared for the next disaster, while continuing to provide us with the best milk and dairy products in the world,” Mr Toole said.
“This funding builds on the more than $202 million that has gone out the door to help flood-affected farmers across all sectors in the past 12 months alone, including the $75,000 Special Disaster Grant for primary producers, the $25,000 Rural Landholder Grants, and the $100,000 Critical Producer Grants.”
Nationals Agriculture Minister Dugald Saunders said since the first deluge earlier this year, more wet weather has inundated most dairy regions along the coast, putting farmers under enormous pressure both financially and emotionally.
“These projects will support greater industry sustainability and work on areas such as farmer emergency response, natural disaster vulnerability, mitigation strategies, workforce attraction and retention and managing feed,” Mr Saunders said.
“It’s all about equipping dairy farmers with the right tools and resources to build better preparedness and allow for faster disaster recovery.”
Dairy NSW Regional Manager Paul van Wel has welcomed the new support package.
“The Dairy NSW-led program will address labour availability for NSW dairy farmers, which continues to be a challenge faced by the entire Australian agricultural sector,” Mr van Wel said.
eastAUSmilk Co-CEO Shaughn Morgan said the 12 dairy projects announced by the Deputy Premier were carefully developed by NSW DPI in consultation with dairy organisations to ensure on-going support to dairy farms impacted by the disastrous floods earlier this year.
“While dairy farmers have remained resilient in the face of natural disasters, these support programs will assist in ensuring dairy farmers remain on their farms, thus ensuring the continued availability of fresh milk to supermarket customers,” Mr Morgan said.
“Industry body eastAUSmilk applauds the NSW and Federal governments for these dairy programmes which will add to the ongoing sustainability of NSW dairy.”
In addition to the Department of Primary Industries and Dairy NSW, other organisations involved include Dairy Australia, NSW Farmers’ Association, Scibus and The University of Sydney, with the NSW SES, NSW Rural Assistance Authority and Local Land Services to be actively involved in their delivery.
For more information about the Dairy Strategy for Sector Recovery Program, please visit: www.nsw.gov.au/regional-nsw/regional-recovery-programs/storm-and-flood-recovery/sector-recovery-and-resilience-grant