FARMERS ENCOURAGED TO APPLY FOR DROUGHT TRANSPORT FUNDING
Member for Lismore, Thomas George today welcomed the creation of a new drought assistance measure that will provide drought stricken farmers with help to sustain livestock through dry conditions.
The NSW Drought Transport Fund will provide up to $20,000 in low interest loans, with a two-year interest and repayment free period, to help farmers pay freight costs for fodder, water, or to move stock to agistment.
“On my recent travels throughout the Tenterfield shire, I have seen first-hand the impacts that the dry conditions are having on our farmers and their families,” Mr George said.
“The costs of transporting fodder, water, or to move stock is crippling our farmers, as more than a quarter of the state is struggling with drought or conditions approaching it, including the Hunter, the Central Tablelands and Central West and in the far west of the state.
“That’s why the NSW Government has created this new support measure.”
The NSW Drought Transport Fund will form part of the wider NSW Drought Strategy, which includes the Farm Innovation Fund for on-farm infrastructure improvement and drought preparedness work.
The Farm Innovation Fund has approved $54 million worth of low-interest loans for farmers this financial year, with almost $9 million worth of loans applied for in March alone – one of the largest one-month volumes of requests since the fund began in 2013.
To date the Farm Innovation Fund has approved more than $200 million in low interest loans to farm businesses throughout NSW.
“Our farmers are the lifeblood of this electorate and when they are struggling, the whole community is impacted,” Mr George said.
“The application process for the NSW Drought Transport Fund will be streamlined, via the NSW Rural Assistance Authority (RAA), to make it easier for our farmers.
“I encourage the regions primary producers to visit www.droughthub.nsw.gov.au to view the full range of assistance measures available.”