Drought assistance on its way

With a quarter of the state now heavily effected by or experiencing conditions approaching dtrought the Government is stepping up its support.

The new Drought Transport Fund promises to aid NSW primary producers through tough dry conditions with the announcement of low-interest loans worth up to $20,000 accompanied by a two year interest and repayment free period.

Minister for Primary Industries and Nationals MLC, Niall Blair has provided eligible farmers with the opportunity to combat the severity of drought and minimise the impact on the livestock industry through the creation of the Drought Transport Fund.

The fund will be targeted towards allowing producers to transport quality fodder and water to affected areas or to transport livestock away from these areas for agistment purposes.

“Farmers have told us they need this help and the NSW Government has heard them loud and clear,” Niall said.

“We know that more than a quarter of the state is struggling with drought or conditions approaching drought. Some of the worst hit areas are the Hunter, Central Tablelands, Central West and in the Far West of the state.

“Primary production is the lifeblood of the communities in these regions and when farmers are struggling, the whole community feels the impact.”

Drought has been an unfortunately prevalent feature of the NSW landscape and thus at constant need for attention. Given this fact, the additional funds the NSW Government is offering coincide with a wider NSW Drought Strategy that includes funding for animal welfare, support for workers, a rural resiliency program and the Farm Innovation Fund.

The Farm Innovation Fund has approved over $200 million worth of low-interest loans to assist struggling farmers since its introduction in 2013 – with $54 million this financial year.

Since becoming Minister, Niall has been dedicated to the agricultural portfolio and his tireless work across the sector and regional NSW has been consistently proven with this funding package another example of the astute work that he and other National MPs are providing within government.