Farmers who are affected by drought in the region will be able to access more funding and services due to the NSW government doubling its drought assistance package to $600 million.
Western NSW parliamentary secretary Rick Colless announced the increased funding in Orange on Wednesday.
He said restrictions on kangaroo culling will be relaxed and a bio-bank freezing program will mean farmers can continue their genetic lines if the drought gets worse.
“Obviously the drought has been biting pretty hard and a lot of people are in all sorts of strife,” Mr Colless said.
“Loans of up to $250,000 are available in drought infrastructure funding, which will be available for transporting livestock, for hay and fodder, water and water works so that’s an important addition in funding.”
He said there is also $50,000 loan funding that will be interest free for seven years.
“A new part of the program is that farmer’s will be able to bio-bank their genetics to make sure that those that have important breeding stock will be able to maintain their genetic lines through this very dry period if they have to continue to sell off their stock,” Mr Colless said.
“There will be also additional staff within the department of primary industries to make sure those new applications are processed quickly and efficiently and that’s an important thing a lot of farmers were saying they were having difficulty getting those loans processed on time.
NSW Farmers’ president, Derek Schoen, was grateful for the financial and mental health provisions as well as measures to improve kangaroo management such as removing tag requirements and allowing secondary use of kangaroo carcasses.
Mr Colless said kangaroo quotas haven’t been met for years leading to plague numbers and they are competing with livestock for remaining feed.
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