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$3 Million for Subsidies in Drought Affected NSW

01 September 2008

AUSTRALIA - NSW Minister for Primary Industries Ian Macdonald has announced an additional A$3 million in funding for the popular transport subsidies program, designed to help drought affected farmers.

"The reality is that while some parts of NSW are experiencing improved conditions, the situation remains tough for others, particularly in southern NSW," he said.

"This funding will help ensure we continue to provide important support measures such as the transport subsidy scheme. Demand is expected to remain high for transport subsidies for the remainder of winter and into spring, especially as the colder conditions continue to restrict pasture growth.

"We still have 66 per cent of the State in drought, with a further 18 per cent classified as marginal – and this drought figure has continually risen in recent months.

"Rainfall allowed most of the winter cereal crop to be planted; however, around 40-50 mm of rain is desperately needed to consolidate these crops.

"Livestock feed remains good in the northern and coastal areas of the State. Unfortunately, feed is still an issue for many in the central and south-west of the State, while fodder prices remaining high due to low availability."

Minister Macdonald said the transport scheme would be funded until at least the end of November, assisting in the essential transport of livestock to and from agistment, to sale or slaughter, and the transportation of fodder and water.

Transport subsidies have been in place since mid 2002, and the State Government has spent A$130 million to date on this important program.

"The Iemma Government remains committed to our farming sector and have committed more than A$400 million in support measures since 2002," Minister Macdonald said.

"We will continue this support for regional communities for as long as this drought continues."

TheCattleSite News Desk



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