Farmers welcome $1billion bushfire pledge


The state government’s $1 billion pledge to help rebuild bushfire impacted communities in NSW is welcome news, according to NSW Farmers. 
 
The additional funding will prioritise the restoration of vital infrastructure, such as roads, rail-lines, bridges, schools, health facilities and communications facilities, which have been damaged or destroyed by bushfires. 

“For the farming community, a rapid response in the rebuilding of infrastructure is essential to get inputs such as fodder and water in and to get products such as fresh milk out,” NSW Farmers President James Jackson said. 

“Local produce from these regions are key drivers for the local economy and tourism industry. Local food is a key element in the tourism experience across regional NSW, so we need to get it moving again.”

“We would prioritise repairs to roads, bridges and telecommunications and alternate energy sources for farming operations and small businesses.”

“It’s a large amount of money, but it is what is needed to get regional NSW back in business.”

"This commitment compliments the Australian Government’s $2 billion Bushfire Recovery Fund and together they will be critical to the economic prosperity of regional NSW."
  
Today’s announcement comes on top $23 million for grants of up to $15,000 for primary producers and small businesses to assist with clean-up and the replacement of infrastructure and $6 million for mental health services.  
 
Farmers can report stock losses and infrastructure damage, and request animal assessment or emergency fodder or water for stock, by calling the Agricultural and Animal Services Hotline on 1800 814 647. People without phone access can send a direct message via the NSW DPI Facebook page. 
 
Date: Thursday 9 January 2020
Media Contact:  Michael Burt
  | 0428 228 988 | burtm@nswfarmers.org.au