Letters to the Editor: August 9

KNIT AND NATTER: For the last 15 years a handful of women gather at Craft Corner in Parkes to knit and crochet squares to create rugs for the winter initiative Wrap with Love. This year's event took place on July 26.
KNIT AND NATTER: For the last 15 years a handful of women gather at Craft Corner in Parkes to knit and crochet squares to create rugs for the winter initiative Wrap with Love. This year's event took place on July 26.

Dear Editor

Good to see the state government chuck in half a billion for drought relief. However it's a bit too little, too late. This is a state of national emergency.

All the state government has to do is request the federal government to get the army involved as you do with any natural disaster. Armies are good at moving stuff. That’s what they do to fight a war. They have engineers, trucks, logistical stuff and they are probably looking for something to do. This is a big project so get the reserves involved as well. 

It's all good practical training for them. Rather than rely on the charity and good will of the people sending up a few trucks of hay. These animals need a constant feed supply.

To see another farmer on TV and breakdown and cry really distresses me. It's an animal welfare issue as well. Keep these poor beasts alive and healthy.

Do something we elected you for rather than focus on maintaining power.

Conrad Mill

You hear it around town that farmers always get bailed out and business doesn’t. Well you put up with a mechanic or a gift shop going to the wall because you can go somewhere else. 

I feel farming is different. They provide the food we eat, food security. It's different. 

While they de-stock livestock, meat will be cheap but it will skyrocket next year from the shortage and who wants that with the cost of living today? Without food on the table we are knackered at every level.

So I urge these Sydney and Canberra folk to focus on this drought. They can afford a $100 lamb roast as a famous politician once said, but can we? 

The NSW State Government is sitting on a motza of a war chest for the next election. Spend it ! Do something we elected you for rather than focus on maintaining power – by building an unwanted stadium in the western suburbs! Write letters, lobby, call. Make these people work for a living!

Conrad Mill, Parkes

Drought and Barnaby

Dear Editor

Has Barnaby Joyce gone completely mad? Here we have the worst drought in what, a 100 years, with farmers going to the wall. All Baranaby can do is launch his unseemly book about him cavorting around the bars of Canberra chasing women. Who cares? Honestly his timing defies any form of logic. I hope he donates the proceeds from this tabloid tell-all to the farmers.

Conrad Mill, Parkes

Thank you

Dear Editor

May I say thank you to you and your staff for so carefully compiling that article in July 13’s Champion Post re: Baptistcare.

Margery Field OAM, Parkes

Applications open for transport subsidies

Just one week after the NSW Government announced its new $500 million NSW Emergency Drought Relief Package, the NSW Rural Assistance Authority (RAA) has started processing drought transport subsidy applications. RAA Chief Executive Officer, John Newcombe said applications for drought transport subsidies opened on Monday and more than 100 applications have already been received.

“The NSW Government is offering a subsidy of up to $20,000 per eligible farm business per year, which equates up to $30,000 over 18 months from 1 January, 2018 to 30 June, 2019,” Mr Newcombe said.

“The subsidy is back-dated so farmers can apply it for freight expenses incurred since 1 January, 2018.

“It covers 50 per cent of the full cost of freight up to a maximum of $5 per kilometre and 1500 kilometres per journey.

“We currently have more than 50 staff following the recruitment of 22 extra officers to assist with processing drought related applications, meaning we are resourced to process subsidies as soon as possible.

“We know farmers are under a lot of stress at the moment and we want to make it as easy as possible for them to apply, so anyone needing help should contact RAA on 1800 678 593 or the Rural Financial Counselling Service on 1800 686 175.”

The new $500 million NSW Emergency Drought Relief Package, which takes the NSW Government’s total drought support to more than $1 billion, includes:

  • $190 million for Drought Transport Subsidies;
  • $110 million to cut the cost of farming by waiving fees and charges; and,
  • $150 million to bolster the Farm Innovation Fund (FIF) infrastructure program.
  • Counselling and mental health;
  • Critical services in regional communities including transporting water and drought related road upgrades and repairs; and,
  • Animal welfare and stock disposal.

For more information on the NSW Government’s emergency drought relief package visit www.droughthub.nsw.gov.au