EXTRA resources will ensure that primary industries damage assessment reports on the Mid North Coast and North Coast are complete within days, according to NSW Minister for Primary Industries Katrina Hodgkinson.
"I have directed the Department of Primary Industries to put the highest priority on this region and additional staff have been re-directed to work on finalising the damage assessment following the February floods and storms," Ms Hodgkinson said.
Natural disaster recovery assistance has been extended to 24 shires in NSW as a result of the flood events in January and February, the majority of which are along the Mid North and North Coast, triggering a range of assistance measures. A comprehensive damage report is required by the Commonwealth Government to access Category C funding.
Ms Hodgkinson and Clarence Nationals MP Chris Gulaptis met with representatives from the fishing, cane, dairy, timber and beef industries today as well as Jeremy Challacombe from the Clarence Valley Council Disaster Recovery Committee.
"It was estimated that the equivalent of two and half times the capacity of Sydney Harbour flowed down the Clarence River during the January flood event," Mr Gulaptis said.
"All our rural industries were severely affected. Cane farmers alone may have lost around $7 million worth of crops.
"I will continue to fight to ensure we get all the help we need to get back on our feet as soon as possible."
Ms Hodgkinson reminded farmers to report flood and wind damage and stock losses to the DPI Damage Reporting Hotline on 1800 814 647.
"I urge all primary producers who haven't yet reported flood damage and wind damage from the late February storms and floods to do so straight away," Ms Hodgkinson said.
"Farmers should report all forms of damage, including stock and fodder losses, and damage to horticulture crops, pastures, fencing and other farm infrastructure."
Farmers needing assistance and advice on what measures are available should contact the Rural Assistance Authority on 1800 678 593.