NSW farmers call for transport subsidies during drought

DROUGHT-STRICKEN farmers in northern New South Wales have called for subsidies to move livestock and transport fodder to their properties.

Low-interest loans from the Federal Government were a helping hand but Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall said producers in the north were reluctant to go further into debt.

"As the third consecutive spring stumbles towards another parched dive into a summer that threatens to break more heatwave records, farmers and graziers are left to wonder when the rain tap might finally turn on again," he said.

"With long-range forecasters predicting another bleak outlook, the many calls to my office inquiring about drought assistance are taking on a tone that transcends the desperation felt earlier this year."

Mr Marshall called for the same transport subsidies issued earlier this year to be re-released.

"In recent days I heard from a grazier in Tenterfield with a 10,000-acre property that has 40 dams - only five have water," he said.

"That grazier's family have been carting water for livestock and personal requirements for the past eight months.

"The current assistance package offered by the Federal Government certainly is generous and better than nothing.

"However, I question whether loans and more debt are the answer for the majority.

"In my opinion, they definitely are not.

"More practical help, such as transport rebates, would have a greater, more positive impact and allow landholders to better manage the stock they have without having to take on added debt."

-APN NEWSDESK



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