NSW government's $50k lifeline for flood affected NSW producers

Samantha Townsend
By Samantha Townsend
December 30 2021 - 2:00am
An aerial of the flooding that occurred between Cowra and Forbes that damaged crops in November. Photo: NSW DPI

Primary producers affected by floods that were on the cusp of paying back their debt after drought are now eligible for grants of up to $50,000.

The grants jointly funded by the state and federal disaster recovery funding arrangements program will be available for NSW producers in 48 local government areas that were impacted by the November 2021 floods.

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The funds can be used for damaged crops, produce and stock, rebuild fences or replace machinery.

NSW Farmers president James Jackson said the financial support was welcomed as producers were under serious financial stress from drought, bushfires and floods.

"People on the coast have been affected by floods and people in the north west were on the cusp of bringing home a harvest," Mr Jackson said.

"There have been a number of calamities this year from bushfires to floods back to back and a lot of people are at the end of their tethers."

The Land reported on December 13 that the NSW Department of Primary Industries' early assessment of the damage bill during the floods was about $70.7 million.

The lost value in crop, pasture and damage to infrastructure has been determined mainly from those areas where the floods had begun to recede. For many other areas, poor access due to the floods has meant most impacted areas were yet to be assessed.

Federal Minister for Emergency Management and National Recovery and Resilience, Bridget McKenzie, said both governments were committing more than $80 million to provide extra support to farmers and primary producers, to help them restock, rebuild and recover.

Deputy Premier Paul Toole said in regions like Forbes, Gunnedah and Narrabri, the communities had been dealt another cruel blow after years of compounding disasters - drought, bush fires, a mice plague and a global pandemic.

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"Making these grants immediately available will help farmers and primary producers get back on their feet as quickly as possible," Mr Toole said.

NSW Emergency Services and Resilience Minister Steph Cooke said it was critical the government used a phased approach to deliver both immediate and long-term support as the state enters a challenging summer season.

"The forecast indicates more flooding and storm damage is likely throughout the summer season. We will continue to work closely with communities and industry to ensure everyone has the support they need to recover," Ms Cooke said.

To be eligible for the grant, which will be administered by the Rural Assistance Authority, primary producers must derive 50 per cent of their income from primary production.

  • To apply people are urged to visit the Rural Assistance Authority website www.raa.nsw.gov.au/grants/disaster-recovery-grants or call 1800 678 593.

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