Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke welcomed Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Deputy Premier John Barilaro, Treasurer Dominic Perrottet and Agriculture Minister Adam Marshall to Coolamon today to help announce a $355 million drought support package boost.

The support is part of the upcoming State Budget and demonstrates the NSW Government’s ongoing support for regional communities, businesses and workers, which now stands at $1.8 billion, Ms Cooke said.

“This wonderful announcement of the extension and expansion of our drought support package in NSW will go such a long way in helping our farming communities right across this Seat of Cootamundra and beyond,” Ms Cooke said.

“I always refer to this seat as the ‘Seat of Small Communities’ and we are seeing communities going through an intense drought, despite what it might appear on the ground here today.

“Since the NSW Emergency Drought Relief package was rolled out last year we have seen 1420 farming families across the Cootamundra electorate alone access more than $90 million of assistance.”

Ms Cooke said the additional support will assist local farmers and businesses, including on-farm measures such as transport subsidies and waiving land rates, and off-farm measures to boost the local economy and support the community. 

“The extension of the Emergency Drought Relief package means more assistance for primary producers, more infrastructure to provide safe and secure water supplies, and investments aimed at stimulating the local economy,” Ms Cooke said.

The extended drought assistance measures for 2019/20 include:

  • $185 million for on-farm Emergency Drought Relief Package support measures including transport cost rebates for fodder, stock and water and the waiving of annual land rates
  • $36 million in funds to support rural and regional communities including mental health, sporting grants, money for pre-schools and skilled pathway opportunities
  • $55 million in the Emergency Drought Relief Package for water infrastructure projects, emergency water carting, improving town drinking water, reducing water wastage and rebates for water licences.

For more detail on available drought support measures, visit www.droughthub.nsw.gov.au