Cootamundra Electorate to Benefit Following $125 Million Investment to Drive Farms of the Future

Primary producers in the Cootamundra electorate could benefit from the NSW Government’s $125 million investment in the Primary Industries Productivity and Abatement Program to drive sustainable land management, boost productivity and help reduce emissions.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke said this announcement is great news for the region as it will create new opportunities for farmers and enable them to be directly involved in the lower carbon economy.

“The NSW Government has recognised Regional NSW is the engine room of the State and primary producers are key to pumping more than $13 billion into the NSW economy each year,” Ms Cooke said.

The Primary Industries Productivity and Abatement Program has three focus areas:

  • $52 million to develop market and industry foundations, including trusted and transparent data, metrics and frameworks to assess carbon and biodiversity outcomes;
  • $72 million to build critical mass and capacity, including incentives for land managers to reduce emissions at scale; and
  • $1 million for accelerating finance for natural capital and low carbon farming, by working with the finance sector to increase investments in natural capital and low carbon farming.

The Program will invest in improving carbon management on farm land, public land and Aboriginal-managed lands across the State.

Treasurer and Minister for Energy Matt Kean said primary producers and land managers are playing an important role in helping NSW achieve its goal of reducing emissions by 50 per cent by 2030 and achieving net zero by 2050.

Minister for Agriculture and Western NSW Dugald Saunders said the program is all about building economic resilience and creating jobs in regional communities, by encouraging sustainable farming practices through grants programs and partnerships with financial institutions.

Minister for the Environment James Griffin said the funding will allow primary producers and land managers to develop new revenue streams through carbon markets while also achieving biodiversity and natural capital benefits for NSW.

More info on the program:

NSW to Phase Out Single-Use Plastics

The end is near for single use plastics, including bags, straws, cotton buds, plates, bowls and cutlery, after the Plastics and Circular Economy Act 2021 passed in NSW Parliament this week.

Plastic packaging and single-use plastics make up 60 per cent of litter across the state.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke said that phasing out single-use plastics from June next year will result in less litter on our streets, parks and waterways.

“This plan helps reduce the harmful impact of these products on the environment while also encouraging the development of new and innovative products,” Ms Cooke said.

“This legislation is expected to stop 2.7 billion single-use items from ending up in our natural environment and waterways over the next 20 years, and is a game-changer in the fight against plastic waste across our state.”

Businesses will be supported to transition to alternative products before the phase outs come into effect. Exceptions will also apply for members of the community who rely on particular single-use plastics for disability or health needs.

“It is encouraging to see many businesses and households have already voluntarily taken action to reduce their single-use plastics, particularly those who take their own reusable bags to the shops,” Ms Cooke added.

The NSW Government has established a legislative framework to tackle harmful and problematic plastics though the setting of design standards.

The first design standard has been set for microbeads in cosmetic and personal care items, and will ensure microbeads are phased out from 1 November 2022.

The legislation will prohibit the supply of lightweight plastic bags from 1 June 2022. The supply of other items will be prohibited from 1 November 2022, including single-use plastic straws, cutlery, stirrers, cotton buds, plates and bowls, and expanded polystyrene foodservice items.

For more information on the Plastic Reduction and Circular Economy Act 2021 visit