The NSW Nationals in Government are deploying a range of support measures to assist drought stricken communities across regional NSW.

Nationals MP Stephen Bromhead has stated the measures include emergency assistance to maintain town water supplies, ongoing financial support for our farmers and regional communities, keeping teachers at drought affected schools and greater transparency and a review into the Murray Darling Basin Plan.

“The NSW Nationals in Government are standing side by side with our drought affected communities, ensuring they get the support and assistance they need to get through what has become the worst drought on record,” Mr Bromhead said.

“Whether its drilling emergency water bores or carting water to ensure no town runs out of water, allocating more than $1.8 billion in drought support for our farmers and regional communities, the NSW Nationals in Government will continue to do whatever we can to support our drought affected communities.”

Some of the drought support measures include:

  • $1.8 billion for an emergency drought relief package including:
    • $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.
  • $170 million Drought Infrastructure Stimulus Package to fast track shovel ready projects in drought affected communities including a new industrial precinct at Cobar, upgrades to the Deniquilian Ute Muster site, upgrades to Scone & Broken Hill Airports and road upgrades across regional NSW
  • More than $130 million to water infrastructure projects, water carting and emergency works projects to ensure communities have sustainable water supplies. This includes
    • $78 million recently approved for delivery of the Critical Drought Initiatives.
    • $36.2 million on Drought Stimulus projects
    • $16.8 million on emergency water infrastructure and water carting
  • Waving registration charges on Class 1 agricultural vehicles and the introduction of the National Class 3 Drought Assistance Dimension Exemption Notice 2018 which allows easier movements of fodder to drought affected farmers
  • A pause of staffing arrangements in the number of permanent staff in drought-affected schools across the State, so our children continue to have access to a consistent number of teachers during their education
  • $14.57 million to support mental health and wellbeing in drought-affected communities, including $750,000 for the Royal Flying Doctor Service South Eastern Section to enhance mental health support in isolated areas of NSW.
  • Streamlining rebates to allow farmers to claim their $2000 under the Quad Bike Safety Improvement Program as one payment and at the point of sale, reducing upfront and out-of-pocket expenses.
  • A joint review with the Victorian state Government into the Murray Darling Basin Plan to give greater transparency and confidence to our Southern Basin communities

Mr Bromhead acknowledged that as the drought continued to bite, more would need to be done.

“I was very pleased to hear that the Premier & Deputy Premier had a teleconference with the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister only last week on this issue, and I want everyone to know that as more needs to be done, The NSW Nationals in Government will be right there with them”.

For more information on NSW Government Drought Support, please visit www.droughthub.nsw.gov.au