NSW Farmers is hopeful next week’s state Budget will reflect commitments by the Berejiklian-Barilaro Government to prioritise regional NSW. Association president Derek Schoen said a farmer–focused budget would not only benefit the state’s farmers but it would have a positive flow-on effect for regional communities and the NSW economy. “In order for the NSW government to reach its target of 30 per cent growth in primary industries by 2020, investment in our agricultural industry is necessary,” Mr Schoen said.
NSW Farmers is calling for:
- $11 million in new funding for Local Land Services (LLS) to be the ‘boots on the ground’ supporting farmers, as well as $25 million pa continued funding of LLS programs and adequate funding for the implementation of the new biodiversity reforms.
- Faster roll out of the $6 billion expenditure on infrastructure that supports agricultural productivity.
- $1.5 million for a study of distributed energy generation opportunities in regional NSW.
- $5 million to develop a Q fever prevention strategy.
- $1.3 million pa over four years to develop a cross-jurisdictional Fruit Fly Action Plan.
- $1.1 million for improved pest animal management arrangements.
The Association’s pre-budget submission also outlined a need for:
- $15 million funding to support Round 3 of the Mobile Black Spot Program.
- $20 million for removal of stamp duty on the purchase of a first farm.
- $20 million contribution for renewed commitment to innovative approaches to drought mitigation.
- $3 million for retrofitting Dairy Underpasses.
- $350,000 for studies into new water storages.
- $800,000 over four years to maintain and improve the mob based system of sheep and goat identification.
- $100,000 for Operation Neglected and Abandoned Orchards.
Mr Schoen said now was a critical time in the budget cycle for agriculture.
“Agriculture is one of the key growth pillars of the NSW economy but in order to see our industry reach its full potential, the necessary investment must be made,” Mr Schoen concluded.