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Regional NSW businesses to get drought relief support
Katherine O’Chee | 승인 2019.06.13 12:45

The NSW government has announced $355 million of next week’s state budget will go towards supporting farmers and businesses battling the drought in regional communities across the state. 

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the drought relief package will fund crucial water and infrastructure projects to keep the local economy running. 

“The impact of this drought has spread quickly off farm and is now being felt by businesses and households in towns and cities across regional NSW,” Ms Berejiklian said in a statement.   

“When farmers can’t contract tradies and other workers, there is a flow on effect felt throughout local businesses such as cafes and local stores,” she added. 

Up to $120 million will be used to fast track regional airport upgrades, industrial land renewal, and CBD revitalisation projects. 

Funds will also be allocated to initiatives including a new groundwater supply for Dubbo ($30 million), a second water storage at Nyngan ($8.2 million), and a bore water supply at Coonabarabran ($2.2 million). 

Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said the package would boost water security for these regional communities. 

“The best drought package for regional NSW is rain, but until the skies open, we will stand by communities that are doing it tough,” Mr Perrottet said.

Minister for Agriculture Adam Marshall added that the package will include another $185 million to help farmers cut down on expenses and access emergency bulk supplies of drinking water. 

“Our farmers are doing it incredibly tough and that’s why we’re directing additional funds to help reduce cost of living pressures, drought-proof properties and transport stock and fodder,” Mr Marshall said. 

About 97.4 per cent of NSW is currently drought affected, in drought, or in intense drought, according to the latest data from the Department of Primary Industries. Meanwhile, only 2 per cent of the state is recorded as “recovering”. 

Katherine O’Chee  edit@hanhodaily.com

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