Dairy farmers in the region will get extra support to recover and rebuild from devastating flooding thanks to a $7.9 million boost by the Commonwealth and NSW Governments.
Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke said the Dairy Sector Recovery Strategy was developed after February-March deluge to help farmers and businesses recuperate and build long-term resilience.
“Since the first round of rain earlier this year, more wet weather has inundated our dairy farms, putting our community under grave stress both financially and emotionally, Ms Cooke said.
“We are thankful this funding has been allocated to help people get back on their feet, so our region can thrive once again.”
Twelve projects will be delivered under the strategy, across three working packages focusing on:
- Better Response and Short-Term Recovery
- Better Preparedness, Lower Risk and Improved Resilience
- Supporting Industry Development
Federal Minister for Emergency Management, Senator Murray Watt says all levels of Government are providing relief to an industry that is hurting.
“By investing in both recovery and resilience, we can ensure farmers, consumers and rural communities are better prepared for future disasters too and we are pleased to work with the NSW Government to deliver this support,” Mr Watt said.
NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole said dairy farmers are among the worst hit.
“Farmers sit in the engine room of the State, pumping more than $13 billion into the economy every year, so it’s critical we help them out so they can continue to provide us with the best milk and dairy products in the world,” Mr Toole said.
“This funding builds on the more than $202 million that has gone out the door to help flood-affected farmers across all sectors in the past 12 months alone, including the $75,000 Special Disaster Grant for primary producers, the $25,000 Rural Landholder Grants, and the $100,000 Critical Producer Grants.”
NSW Agriculture Minister Dugald Saunders said these projects will support greater industry sustainability and work on areas such as farmer emergency response, natural disaster vulnerability, mitigation strategies, workforce attraction and retention and managing feed.
“It’s all about equipping dairy farmers with the right tools and resources to build better preparedness and allow for faster disaster recovery,” Mr Saunders said.
Funding for the strategy was provided by the jointly Commonwealth and NSW Government-funded Storm and Flood Industry Recovery Program (Sector Recovery and Resilience Grants) under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements along with $1.7 million from industry co-contributions.
In addition to the Department of Primary Industries and Dairy NSW, other organisations involved include Dairy Australia, NSW Farmers’ Association, Scibus and The University of Sydney, with the NSW SES, NSW Rural Assistance Authority and Local Land Services to be actively involved in their delivery.
For more information about the Dairy Strategy for Sector Recovery Program, please visit: www.nsw.gov.au/regional-nsw/regional-recovery-programs/storm-and-flood-recovery/sector-recovery-and-resilience-grant