Flood recovery grants of up to $75,000 jointly funded by the Australian and NSW Governments will assist farmers to revive local food and fibre production in flood affected regions.
NSW Farmers President James Jackson said the damage bill from flooding on the north coast, Sydney basin and north west regions is likely to run into hundreds of millions.
“Our members are starting to count the immense cost of the damage, with a substantial impact on crops, pastures, infrastructure, oyster production and livestock losses,” Mr Jackson said.
“This event has had a major impact on our oyster growers. Most in the north coast region will have significant clean-up costs and no income into the foreseeable future due to stock losses and closed estuaries.”
“Mother nature has thrown it all at our farmers in recent years. Many farmers now face a long flood recovery process after getting through drought, bushfires and a global pandemic.”
“There are now 63 local government areas declared as natural disaster areas due to flooding and over half of these were declared natural disaster areas following the 2019-20 bushfires.”
The primary producer flood recovery grants of up to $75,000 aim to provide short-term targeted assistance for recovery and reinstatement activities, including salvaging crops and repairs to damaged farm infrastructure (e.g. fencing) and equipment.
“The Rural Assistance Authority will administer the grants, with details and eligibility available mid-week,” Mr Jackson said.
“For some, especially fruit growers with permanent plantings, the direct flood impact may not be known until the soil dries out. It will be important that eligibility for these grants recognizes the delay of the onset of direct flood impacts across the diversity of farming enterprises.”
The Australian and NSW Governments are also funding clean-up for households, businesses, primary producers and local councils affected by the floods and include both insured and uninsured properties.