29th January 2008

A delegation of North Coast MPs today met with the Minister for Primary Industries, Ian Macdonald, concerning the devastating consequences of the recent floods on the North Coast.

Delegation members included Thomas George, the Member for Lismore, Don Page, the Member for Ballina, Geoff Provest, the Member for Tweed Heads, Steven Cansdell, the Member for Clarence and Shadow Minister for Primary Industries, Andrew Fraser.

The delegation also included representatives from the dairy, fishing, oil seeds and cane growing industries.

Each industry detailed to the Minister their particular problems and they were given a good hearing.

The Minister advised that he would grant a recovery package of $130,000 over a 3 month period to the fishing industry, which included $100,000 for monitoring the river, $30,000 for flood remediation works and he further advised that licence fees for fishermen in the Richmond River would be waived for the next 12 months.

The Minister also agreed to look at disaster assistance measures particularly for the dairy industry who now find themselves in the situation of having to purchase expensive fodder due to their crops being lost.

Issues of laneways and fencing being destroyed were also raised with the Minister.

The Minister advised he had been speaking to the Federal Government with a view to extending Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payments, as were given to Emerald in Queensland, to farmers and communities affected in the Northern Rivers.

The NSW Nationals Members of the delegation have already approached the Federal Government in this matter and agreed to support the Minister in his representations to the Federal Government in this regard.

The Delegation Members urged all farmers affected, especially those requiring immediate assistance for replanting, to complete their Disaster Assistance applications and send them to the Rural Assistance Authority as a matter of urgency as the Minister had agreed to give priority to applications where farmers required replanting assistance.

The Delegation was thankful of the positive feedback from the Minister and we look forward to working co-operatively with his office to ensure that this assistance is delivered in a timely manner.

Contact : Andrew Fraser 6652 6500 or 0427 241 522
Thomas George 6621 3624 or 0427 360 781
Don Page 6686 7522 or 0428 285 319
Geoff Provest 07.5523 4816 or 0418 754 775
Steve Cansdell 6643 1244 or 0438 431 611

Contact Details:

Office: 55 Carrington Street  LISMORE
Postal: PO Box 52  LISMORE  NSW  2480
Telephone: 1800 336 166 or 02 6621 3624
Facsimile: 02 6622 1403  Email:

Authorised by Thomas George MP. Funded using Parliamentary entitlements.