Member for Tamworth, Kevin Anderson today welcomed the creation of a new drought assistance measure that will provide drought stricken farmers with help to sustain livestock through the dry conditions.

The NSW Drought Transport Fund will provide up to $20,000 in low interest loans, with a two-year interest and repayment free period, to help farmers pay freight costs for fodder, water, or to move stock to agistment.

“On my recent travels throughout the electorate to centres like Walcha, Gunnedah, Wallabadah and Werris Creek, I have seen first-hand the impacts that the dry conditions is having on our farmers and their families,” Mr Anderson said.

“The costs of transporting fodder, water, or to move stock can be crippling for our farmers, and the rainfall over the last six months has been very patchy.

“That’s why the NSW Government has created this new support measure.”

The NSW Drought Transport Fund will form part of the wider NSW Drought Strategy, which includes the Farm Innovation Fund for on-farm infrastructure improvement and drought preparedness work.

The Farm Innovation Fund has approved $54 million worth of low-interest loans for farmers this financial year, with almost $9 million worth of loans applied for in March alone – one of the largest one-month volumes of requests since the fund began in 2013. To date the Farm Innovation Fund has approved more than $200 million in low interest loans to farm businesses throughout NSW.

“Our farmers are part of the lifeblood of the region, and when they are struggling, the whole community is impacted,” Mr Anderson said.

“The application process for the NSW Drought Transport Fund will be streamlined, via the NSW Rural Assistance Authority (RAA), to make it easier for our farmers.

“I encourage our primary producers to visit to view the full range of assistance measures available,” Mr Anderson concluded.

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