WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
$500 million Emergency Drought Relief Package
We know that when our farmers hurt, the whole state hurts.
To help our farmers, families, businesses and the communities that surround them, last week we announced an additional $500 million in emergency drought-relief funding, taking the total drought assistance package to well over a billion dollars.
After announcing the Emergency Drought Relief Package, I’ve been travelling across the Central West and down to the Riverina to meet with farmers.
I’m making it my priority to reach out to farmers,
landholders and those in communities which have been affected by the drought to explain the package so people who need assistance can fully understand what is available to them.
The new $500 million Emergency Drought Relief package is made up of three key elements:
- About $190 million for Drought Transport Subsidies;
- About $100 million to cut farming charges and fees; and
- $150 million to boost the existing Farm Innovation Fund (FIF) infrastructure program.
As well as this, the package includes funding for:
- Counselling and mental health services;
- Critical services in regional communities like transporting water and drought-related road upgrades; plus
- Animal welfare and stock disposal.
The major feature of the Emergency Relief Package is the Drought Transport Subsidies and I know farmers are keen to access this immediately.
From today – Monday, 6th August – the
NSW Rural Assistance Authority (RAA) will begin processing applications.
The subsidy will cover up to $20,000 per eligible farm businesses and can cover up to 50 per cent of the full cost of freight up to a maximum of $5 per kilometre and 1,500 km per journey, so overall the maximum subsidy per journey is $3,750.
The transport subsidy can be claimed to cover the cost of moving fodder, water for stock, agistment of stock or for stock to sale or slaughter.
On top of this, the subsidy will be backdated six months to the January 1, so farmers can subsidise expenses they have already incurred.
In the coming weeks, I’ll be in contact to explain in more detail the other key elements of
the Emergency Drought Relief package.
I urge all farmers and landholders to contact the NSW Rural Assistance Authority (details below) to claim subsidies or assistance being made available to you.
Hon Niall Blair MLC
Deputy Leader of NSW Nationals
Minister for Primary Industries
Minister for Regional Water
Minister for Trade and Industry