Help offered to farmers
FARMERS in the Lismore council area are now able to apply for grants of up to $15,000 to help the recover from the storms that have battered the region this year.
The announcement today by NSW Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner follows a rough few months for farmers, with macadamia farmers saying they suffered millions of dollars in damage from the storms after previously having had hopes of getting a strong price for what looked to be a bumper crop.
The grants would be jointly funded by the State and Commonwealth governments through the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements and today's announcement applied to farmers in the Bellingen, Greater Taree, Kempsey, Nambucca, and Port Macquarie-Hastings council areas, he said.
"This funding would help local farmers get back on their feet after the severe storms and floods that hit our region in January and February this year," Mr Stoner said.
"I've seen firsthand over the years, the devastation the floods have caused with our local farmers - many of whom have been hit by a succession of serious flooding events - often the ones hit the hardest.
"The clean-up and recovery process is never an easy one, but the grants announced today will certainly make a difference at the ground level.
"Local Primary Producers should also be reminded the Minister for Primary Industries Katrina Hodgkinson has waived application fees on any flood repair work that required approvals under the Water Management Act 2000."
Primary producers can apply for the grants through the New South Wales Rural Assistance Authority. Primary producers in these areas affected by the floods can contact the New South Wales Rural Assistance Authority on 1800 678 593 or at www.raa.nsw.gov.au
Information regarding the range of assistance that is available in each of the affected local government areas in NSW can be found on the Australian Government's Disaster Assist website at www.disasterassist.gov.au