Disaster assistance has been extended to 18 extra council areas as the Minister for Agriculture expects damage to reach “hundreds of millions of dollars at least.”
- Concessional loans and transport subsidies are available for impacted landholders
- The state government says it’s working on applying for further support measures
- Landholders have six months to apply for assistance.
The local government areas were Bourke, Coonamble, Dubbo, Glenn Innes Severn, Kyogle, Lithgow, Liverpool Plains, Lockhart, Muswellbrook, Narromine, Orange, Parkes, Singleton, Snowy Valleys, Tamworth, Walgett and Warren.
The Minister for Agriculture, Adam Marshall, said at the moment low-interest loans and transport subsidies were available to farmers in disaster declared zones.
The concessional loans were available up to $130,000 and included a two year no-payment period for farmers needing to repair and replace infrastructure.
Transport subsidies up to $15,000 were available to farmers needing to move stock, or move fodder to stock during the floods.
Mr Marshall said the disaster zones were currently classified under ‘Category B’ in the jointly-funded state and Commonwealth disaster assistance program but he was “confident” thresholds would be met for further help.
In order to move to Category C disaster assistance a local government area must have a 20 per cent loss of gross value product and more than 30 per cent of landholders have to be directly impacted.
“I would be reasonably confident in a number of the local government areas that I’ve already visited — that those thresholds will be met,” Mr Marshall said.
Category C and D assistance included cash grants for impacted landholders.
No rush to apply
The New South Wales Department of Primary Industries said farmers had six months to apply for the loans.
Brett Fifield from the Rural Assistance Authority said farmers should be prioritising safety while flood waters were still moving through the regions.
“Our first message to primary producers is to not self-assess… they have six months to apply for the current flood assistance,” Mr Fifield said.
Local Land Services were available to assist farmers with fodder and advice during flooding and could be contacted on 1300 795 299.
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