Over the past 12 months, I have received hundreds of letters from farmers and locals in rural and regional communities hit hard by the impacts of drought. Many of these letters have moved me beyond words.
Of course, as a politician I know there is an assumption that we should be tough for the cameras, but I can’t thank our regional communities enough for sharing their stories and issues with me. This is the personal side of politics that’s rarely seen by the media.
While the letters have told me stories I didn’t know, I have also travelled extensively to ensure I can see these stories first-hand.
I have heard your concerns and I have been working hard to ensure we implement effective measures to reduce the burden of the drought on your families, businesses and communities.
Please continue to share your stories and your issues with me. None of it goes unnoticed and I will continue to do my best to represent you, your business and your family.Niall Blair
In recent weeks many people across your community would have opened their Local Land Service rates to see the balance was zero.
We waived the rates for this period to relieve some of the financial burden for all landholders across the state. I fought hard for this measure because I know that when cash flow is poor, an extra bill is the last thing anyone wants.
I will continue fighting for NSW farmers, no matter what region or industry they are a part of. I will not stand idly by while our farmers’ Right To Farm and security is threatened.
Our farmers rely on their land to produce world-class products to contribute to an ever-expanding industry. They deserve to have assurance that their land is secure and their right to farm is protected.
To protect these rights, we have introduced an Agriculture Commissioner, who will provide an advocate for the protection of a landholder’s right to farm in NSW.
It’s imperative that landholders are protected from legal prosecution for exercising their right to farm and functioning effectively as a business in a world-class industry. The commissioner will assist us in providing you with that protection.
A priority issue for the commissioner is the security threat posed by the organisation Aussie Farms. The organisation incites trespassing onto and illegal filming of legitimate farms practicing within their legal rights.
For some farmers, the land on which they operate also serves as a home for their loved ones. The actions promoted by this organisation threaten the safety of farming families and I will not stand for it.
Regional and rural communities across NSW are made up of hardworking people, in a range of different industries facing their own challenges. I am here for our farmers, no matter what the obstacle, big or small. I hear your concerns and am working to produce the most effective solutions.
Please continue to share your stories and your issues with me. None of it goes unnoticed and I will continue to do my best to represent you, your business and your family.
Niall Blair, Deputy Leader of the NSW Nationals
DO YOU WANT MORE ORANGE NEWS AND VIEWS?
- Receive our free newsletters delivered to your inbox, as well as breaking news alerts. Sign up below …