The NSW Nationals in the federal government made sure supporting Australia’s agriculture industry was a key part of the Budget, with an extra $14 million to reward landowners for good land stewardship and exploring soil carbon opportunities.

Federal NSW Nationals Member for Cowper Pat Conaghan recently visited a Moparrabah cattle property located 40 kilometres west of Kempsey where innovative land management practices were being undertaken to hydrate the landscape.

“It was great to catch up with Bruce Raeburn, a member of Macleay Landcare, and see what he has done to care for his property’s creek catchment,” Mr Conaghan said.

“Bruce said he had improved his property through slowing the flow of water along his creek, minimising creek bank erosion by building a riparian fence and adding organic matter to the soil.

“Bruce’s hard work is really paying off as through good land stewardship, his pasture has improved, and he can now run 300 breeders as opposed to 100 head of cattle.

“Our Federal Nationals Government is committed to delivering programs that reward farmers for their stewardship such as the four-year $34 million Agriculture Biodiversity Stewardship Pilot Program and the Australian Farm Biodiversity Certification Scheme.”

Mr Raeburn said he would continue working to rehydrate his property in the hope to mitigate the severity of future bushfires and drought.

“Last year was such a dry year for the Macleay Valley, Kempsey had 120mm less rainfall than in the drought of 1902,” he said.

“So we now need to do all we can to help rehydrate the landscape.

“To rehydrate my property, I have strategically planted thousands of trees and shrubs in and along the creek bed.

“Now the water flows slower and water holes are deeper, which has improved the fish life.

“And gradually, due to the water’s slower flow, silt and gravel have been deposited into the creek bed which has gradually raised its height. It’s my hope that in a flood, water will now flow right across the flat, watering my pecan nut and poplar trees.”

For more information on the AG2030 plan and agriculture support measures in the Federal Budget, visit https://nationals.org.au/AG2030.