“The Agriculture and Environment Committee Report – Review of the Drought Relief Assistance Scheme (DRAS)” has been labelled a missed opportunity to genuinely improve the profitability of Agriculture according to Member for Warrego Ann Leahy.
“I know the rural industry stakeholders will do their best with undertaking another review – I do not have the same confidence in the State Labor Government.”
Ms Leahy told the State Parliament that the situation is ludicrous where on one side of the border a farmer can desilt a dam but on the other they can’t under the same funding program.
In January 2015, the New South Wales Government announced an additional $20 million under the Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate Scheme for the purpose of de silting dams for those in a one and 50-year drought.
“Drought affected landholders across the Warrego Electorate were hoping this would be a genuine review of DRAS – unfortunately this report doesn’t deliver genuine outcomes for drought affected landholders, for that they have to wait for another review.”
“The Report is particularly disappointing for constituents Robert and Jenny Crichton who had made the effort to meet with the Committee and explain why properties that operate on an agistment basis for breeding stock should be able to access the Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate.”
“They were told to write to the Minister – something they did months and months ago, hence why they made a submission to the Committee with their arguments.”
“When agricultural industries are profitable they are more resilient and they are in a better position to deal with seasonal variations.” Ms Leahy said.