Bushfire funding detail catches up with $140m announcement

FARMERS are in the sights of the NSW Government after they unveiled details of their $140 million dollar bushfire rescue package yesterday.

The $140 million Bushfire Industry Recovery Package is aimed at getting Bushfire-impacted dairy farmers, fruit growers and forestry businesses back on their feet after a tough few months.

Deputy Premier John Barilaro said targeted grants - in two streams - would be available to help the forestry, horticulture, apiculture, aquaculture, viticulture and dairy industries retain and create jobs.

Mr Barilaro said the initial focus would be on supply chain support grants that will help cover the cost of resuming and maintaining production.

"One month ago we announced $140 million in funding for our most bushfire affected industries and since then we've worked with them directly to design the specific assistance needed to get businesses back on their feet and foster long-term recovery."

He said the second funding stream for sector development grants would support projects that helped affected industries create new jobs, build industry sustainability, increase value-add production and support supply-chain efficiencies.

"We are providing grants to ensure these key driver industries can continue to generate jobs and economic growth for rural and regional NSW, because bushfire impacted towns that are now enduring COVID-19 cannot afford further job losses and economic downturn.

"We are also backing projects that will boost future industry resilience, things like adopting new manufacturing processes, technology upgrades, productivity improvements for cooperative facilities and industry wide marketing campaigns."

Those in the forestry and apiary industry have been hit particularly hard in recent months, with after coming to terms with thousands of hectares of bushland destroyed in the summer bushfires

The measures are a mix of grants and subsidies and eligible projects include replacing permanent plantings and irrigation equipment, re-establishing pastures, herd rebuilding, accessing technical and business advice and purchasing pollen or sugar for hives.

NSW Farmers welcomed the program and president James Jackson encouraged those farmers and regional businesses in bushfire affected regions to look at the new targeted package.

"It's the sort of assistance we have been asking for to not only help with the recovery process, but to help build and strengthen resilience in regional communities," he said.

"Now is also the prime time to invest in food and fibre value add processing and regional food precincts.

"These will create opportunities for farm diversification, create regional jobs and further enhance food security in NSW and I would hope these grants go some way in achieving that."

Eligible projects include replacing permanent plantings and irrigation equipment, re-establishing pastures, herd rebuilding, purchase of oyster spat or accessing technical and business advice.

Applications are now open and for more information visit www.nsw.gov.au/bushfire-industry-recovery-package



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