Support for bushfire-affected primary producers has topped $100 million through the Special Disaster Grants program, re-affirming the NSW Government’s commitment to regional communities.
Deputy Premier and Minister responsible for Disaster Recovery John Barilaro said the program provides farmers and other primary production businesses in fire-affected areas with a one-off payment of up to $75,000.
“Primary production is the backbone of regional economies and it is essential to keep our farmers on the land and in operation,” Mr Barilaro said.
“Following the devastating bushfires, it has been fantastic to see the uptake of the primary producer grants with now more than $100 million out the door.
“These grants can cover things like safety inspections, veterinary fees, waste disposal, and the purchase or repair of property and equipment damaged in the fires.”
Minister for Agriculture Adam Marshall said that there had been almost 3,000 applications for Primary Producer Special Disaster Grants and was eager to see that number continue to climb.
“I am heartened to see primary producers so readily taking up the available support, because every cent of this $100 million has gone directly to those who need it most,” Mr Marshall said.
“If ever there was a year to help our farmers it’s 2020 – but finally after battling drought and devastating bushfires we are starting to see reprieve in some areas, and this program is just one of a raft of measures we have in place to get farm businesses back on track.
“That being said, we are far from being out of the woods, and applications are still open for another four months, so we urge all eligible primary producers to apply for access to this funding to help cover the costs of repairing and rebuilding their farm infrastructure.”
The program has been extended until December 15 and the eligibility criteria has been eased, allowing farmers and growers more time to access much-needed financial assistance.
“The NSW and Federal Governments have worked together to not only extend the $75,000 primary producer grants, but also to make it easier for people to apply,” Mr Barilaro added.
“Government has invested strongly in the recovery of primary industries. Not only have the $75,000 primary producer grants had considerable uptake, the $140 million Bushfire Industry Recovery package has seen almost $65 million already go to forestry, horticulture, dairy, apiculture and aquaculture businesses impacted by the bushfires.”
Applications for the Special Disaster Grant can be made via the NSW Rural Assistance Authority, either by calling 1800 678 593 or online at www.raa.nsw.gov.au.