NSW Farmers welcome state government drought funding boost

Photo: contributed
Photo: contributed

NSW Farmers has welcomed the state government's commitment to boost its drought assistance, as farmers and communities continue to battle this intense, long-running drought.

The money is in addition to the almost $400 million announced during the March election campaign, bringing the government's total support bill to $1.8 billion.

The new package would include $170 million in funding to fast track investment in regional infrastructure.

NSW Farmers president James Jackson said while farmers are bearing the brunt of ongoing dry conditions, the severity and long-term nature of this drought is a having a significant impact on rural towns and communities.

"Towns like Nyngan, Walgett, Bourke and Guyra are running out of water and many towns west of the Great Divide are feeling the economic and social impact of drought, so the announcements [on Tuesday] are welcome news and will have long term benefits," he said in a statement.

"NSW Farmers flagged the need to support regional communities with water and local infrastructure during our FOCUS election campaign, and some of the 'shovel ready' projects announced [on Tuesday] were raised at our pre- election forums.

"It is critical that the government engage local employment and contractors for these projects to take full advantage of the economic stimulus that they will provide."

Mr Jackson said the NSW Government has also recognised the need to extend on-farm drought support with an extra $185 million for measures such as transport subsidies for stock, fodder and water and the waiving of Local Land Services rates and fixed water charges.

"The best drought support for farmers is rain, but the weather forecasts have little hope of a break in the drought anytime soon," he said.

"We thank the NSW government for their ongoing support and to the Australian community, who continue show their support through donations."

For more information about NSW Government drought support measures, visit www.droughthub.nsw.gov.au.