VIDEO:Minister announces drought funding

VIDEO: Minister Hodgkinson speaks with a local farmer in Somerton.

RELATED COVERAGE: Farmers await minister

NSW Primary Industries Minister Katrina Hodgkinson has today announced the government will provide additional assistance for drought-stricken farmers.

The $7 million package was announced in Tamworth this morning and comes on the back of a multi-million dollar package announced for Walgett, Bourke and Brewarrina council areas in November.

Today's announcement covers 20 additional Local Government areas including Walcha, Armidale, Uralla, Gunnedah, Gwydir, Guyra, Inverell,Moree, Narrabri, Tenterfield and Tamworth.

Ms Hodgkinson said the measures which are back-dated to January 1, 2014 for the new areas will include up to $20,000 per producer in the form of a Transport Assistance Reimbursement; up to $30,000 per producer for Emergency Water Infrastructure Grants; and the waiving of Local Land Services rates for a 12-month period.

“Seasonal conditions are deteriorating at a rapid rate across a large portion of NSW and I am concerned at the severity and speed at which this drought is moving across the landscape,” Ms Hodgkinson said.

“While the NSW Government recognises that producers must make sound management decisions and implement extensive preparedness measures to deal with adverse seasonal conditions, no matter how well a farmer may prepare for drought, it is impossible to completely drought-proof a property.”

Read more in tomorrow's edition of the Namoi Valley Independent.

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