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Farmers affected by hail can apply for low-interest loans

Red Earth Organics lost more than $200,000 worth of crops in the hail storm in November.
Red Earth Organics lost more than $200,000 worth of crops in the hail storm in November. Caine Nichols

IN AUGUST and November this year properties in the Ballina electorate had more than $20 million worth of damage during wild hail storms.

The storms impacted a large area, including parts of Ballina, Byron, Clarence Valley, Lismore, Richmond Valley and Tenterfield local government areas.

In order to help those affected, Parliamentary Secretary for Northern NSW, Ben Franklin, has encouraged farmers and producers to apply for the Agricultural Natural Disaster Relief assistance funding.

"The November storm caused more than $18.8 million worth of damage to infrastructure and horticultural crops across a number of properties," he said.

"This followed hailstorms in August which caused $1.8 million in damage. I understand that some producers have been hit hard by these storms, which caused significant damage to farm infrastructure."

Agricultural Natural Disaster Relief measures are available for damage caused by the November storm for producers in the parishes of:

  • Meerschaum, Teven, Tuckombil, and Newrybar in the Ballina LGA
  • Byron, Teven, Clunes, Brunswick and Newrybar in the Byron LGA.

Agricultural Natural Disaster Relief measures are available for damage caused by the August storm for producers in the parishes of:

  • The Parishes of Teven, Tuckombil, Pt Newrybar in the Ballina LGA
  • The Parishes of Byron and Pt Newrybar in the Byron LGA.

Affected producers in those areas are encouraged to contact the NSW Rural Assistance Authority to determine their individual eligibility for assistance measures.

Mr Franklin said the available assistance will help affected farmers repair their properties and get back on their feet.

"The assistance comes in the form of low interest loans of up to $130,000 with a two year interest and repayment free period," he said.

"The low interest loans provide for replacement or repairs to property and farm infrastructure which was damaged by the storms. The NSW government is committed to ensuring our primary producers are supported in their recovery from events like these and in their preparations and planning for future events."

Potential applicants can contact the RAA toll-free on 1800 678 593 or visit www.raa.nsw.gov.au to clarify eligibility criteria, or any other issues relating to this assistance.

Topics:  ben franklin hail storm northern rivers agriculture nsw government funding



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