With 99 per cent of the state now in drought and our farmers facing one of the driest winters on record, I welcomed the Government’s Emergency Drought Relief Package last week. This is the land of drought and flooding rains, and sadly this drought is taking its toll with many famers and the local rural communities facing extreme financial and emotional pressure. A major feature of this package is the introduction of transport subsidies, this measure recognising the fact that many people have been forced to cart fodder, since the beginning of the year.
Waivers will also apply on Local Land Services annual rates, fixed charges on water licenses, registration costs for class 1 agricultural vehicles and interest for existing Farm Innovation Fund loans. The NSW Rural Assistance Authority will begin processing applications from Monday, August 6. For more information on drought relief visit www.droughthub.nsw.gov.au.
Farmers can now access grants for the construction of cattle underpasses beneath public roads and the installation of warning signs and flashing lights, to reduce the risk to producers and motorists. Underpasses remove the need for cattle to cross roads, improving safety for farmers, the farmer’s family, employees and motorists, and lifting farm productivity.
Every application received will be assessed against eligibility criteria listed in the Cattle Underpass Scheme guidelines. Applications close on October 31, 2018 and will be considered in the order in which they are received. For more information go to www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/cups.
Public school students in years five to 12 across the region will learn about the importance of resilience, service and inclusion as part of an initiative helping to share the spirit of the Invictus Games Sydney 2018. The Invictus Games Sydney 2018 Education Project was launched by the NSW Government last week.
The Games are a unique educational opportunity to focus on inclusivity, mental health, physical health and resilience. The Games promote service to the community and they should encourage the community to think deeply about the service and sacrifices that defence personnel make every day.
The chance to secure tickets for students from stages three to stage six to attend the Invictus Games Sydney 2018 is available to all NSW public schools. All students particularly those living in rural communities, will have the opportunity to take part in activities remotely via online curriculum resources, virtual excursions and other interaction opportunities for participation. The initiative will promote NSW syllabus outcomes, completing the curriculum in various areas of study including PDHPE, English and History.