NSW Farmers has welcomed a critical boost to NSW Government drought assistance that extends to backing town water and infrastructure projects for drought affected communities.
State Premier Gladys Berejiklian has announced the upcoming NSW State Budget 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 today are welcome news and will have long term benefits,” Mr Jackson said.
“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 today 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.”
“We thank the NSW Government for their ongoing support and to the Australian community, who continue show their support through donations.”
Today’s funding announcement brings the NSW Government’s investment in drought support to more than $1.8 billion.
Source: NSW Farmers