It's not time to forget the drought: 75 per cent of NSW still affected

Minister Adam Marshall and Member for the Dubbo, Dugald Saunders, during a visit to Dubbo earlier this year.
Minister Adam Marshall and Member for the Dubbo, Dugald Saunders, during a visit to Dubbo earlier this year.

With COVID-19, and parts of NSW now rebounding from the summer's devastating bushfires, Dubbo MP, Dugald Saunders said it was timely to remember that more than 75 per cent of the state was still in some level of drought.

Mr Saunders said a significant amount of money had been invested to support people in regional NSW, and that support would continue.

"There is no doubt that as a government we have had a lot to deal with over the past few months," he said.

"But let me be very clear, drought has not been forgotten. Thanks to strong financial management we have been able to support people through bushfires and now coronavirus, but that has not come at the expense of supporting people in drought-ravaged parts of NSW.

"There has now been almost $1 billion invested in regional NSW in the current financial year, to help primary producers and communities through the drought. That funding has been made available in a variety of ways, and although I realise not every single primary producer has been able to qualify for everything available, there has been a huge effort made to help as many as possible in the right way."

As part of the NSW Government's drought response more than $186 million has been spent on the drought transport subsidy while the Farm Innovation Fund has seen in excess of $436 million returned to regional communities.

Almost $100 million has been distributed through the Drought Assistance Fund, and in excess of $100 million worth of Local Land Service rates and Fixed Water charges have been waived.

"I am in constant contact with the Minister for Agriculture and Western NSW, Adam Marshall, and we agree on the need to keep supporting our farmers and rural communities," Mr Saunders said.

"Parts of the region have received good rainfall in recent times, and although I'm mindful the drought certainly isn't over, there is also the need to be able to help primary producers transition into drought recovery in the best way possible.

More information on the assistance available from the NSW Government can be found here.

This story It's not time to forget the drought first appeared on The Land.