THE Western NSW Business Chamber has appealed for urgent help for farmers in Orange and the Central West to offset the devastation of the ongoing drought.
A report released by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences showed in NSW, broadacre farm incomes are set to fall by 51 per cent in the 2018-19 financial year, with farms expected to lose $69,000 on average.
In the Central West, the losses are tipped to be even greater.
“Farm income is expected to drop nearly 60 per cent in 2018-19, with the average farm set to lose $81,000 for the year after losing about $30,000 the year prior," Western NSW Business Chamber regional manager Vicki Seccombe said.
This is a natural disaster on any definition, not just for the farmers themselves, but for our entire community.Western NSW Business Chamber regional manager Vicki Seccombe
“Broadacre farm incomes are expected to be just $3,000 for the year, with the average farm set to lose a shocking $276,000 because of the impact of the drought.
"That follows a loss of nearly $90,000 the year prior."
Ms Seccombe said the impacts would extend beyond those who make their living off the land.
“These types of events have a catastrophic impact on regional businesses impacting regional employment and small and local businesses," she said.
“This is a natural disaster on any definition, not just for the farmers themselves, but for our entire community."
“The NSW Business Chamber is calling for immediate action to help provide relief."
Among the measures the WNSWBC is seeking is the creation of a Natural Disaster Recovery Fund to assist businesses and communities to mitigate the ravages of natural disasters, like the drought.
They are also calling for the government to abolish stamp duty on insurance premiums for commercial premises to increase coverage, and to allow flexible payroll tax payments.
DO YOU WANT MORE ORANGE AND DISTRICT NEWS?
- Receive our free newsletters delivered to your inbox, as well as breaking news alerts. Sign up below …