The NSW Nationals in the state government have announced a $50 million package to help farmers, households, and small businesses battle the current mice plague.
Deputy Premier John Barilaro and NSW Nationals Agriculture Minister Adam Marshall said free baiting, through free-of-charge grain treatment, would be made available to primary producers, while affected rural and town households and small businesses would be able to apply for rebates to help them meet the cost of purchasing mouse baits.
“We know the financial pressure this mice plague is putting on farmers and household budgets, we have heard the concerns of regional NSW and we are acting on it,” Mr Barilaro said.
“The NSW Government will establish grain treatment facilities at specified locations across rural and regional NSW for farmers to have their grain treated free of charge and we will provide rebates to small businesses and households through Service NSW to help meet the cost of buying bait.
“I am also forming an advisory committee to ensure everyone has access to expert advice, including the latest hot spots, health and food safety advice, information for vets and guidance for keeping children and animals safe.”
Under this package households will be able to apply for rebates of up to $500 and small businesses will be eligible to claim up to $1000 through Service NSW.
Mr Marshall said farmers would be able to have their grain treated free of charge to protect their hard-sown crops from vermin.
“Today’s announcement of free baits to treat grain almost completely removes the cost burden on our farmers and croppers and complements our popular workshops to arm farmers with the tools needed to build a mice-free fortress to protect their paddocks,” Mr Marshall said.
“I’ve seen first-hand the impact these rodents are having. They are a scourge on our agricultural production so we are giving landholders a fearsome suite of tools to manage mice.
“Free bait is better than any rebate for our farmers, who we continue to stand behind post drought, bushfires and floods.”
The NSW Department of Primary Industries will also launch an unprecedented body of research to identify and potentially develop future tools to combat mice plagues, including biological controls.
For the latest information about the mice plague, eligibility, how rebates will be claimed as well as health advice, go to www.nsw.gov.au/mice.