DROUGHT DEBATE SET FOR PARLIAMENT
A 10,000 plus signature petition calling for drought-affected farmers to be given more support as a matter of urgency was tabled in the NSW Parliament yesterday.
Member for Maitland Jenny Aitchison lodged the petition with the Table Office and a debate has been scheduled in the NSW Parliament for Thursday 22 November 2018.
The petition launched in June with support from Fairfax Media, is a state-wide show of support for women and men on the land as they anxiously await rain to turn around farming conditions.
The signatories are from towns and rural communities representing virtually every region across NSW.
Included in the seven point proposal is to allow NSW Fire and Rescue and the NSW Rural Fire Service to cart water to farms for livestock and cropping purposes.
Additionally, it calls for a 50 per cent farm household water subsidy to fill domestic tanks.
Subsidies for fodder and stockfeed, suspending farmers’ Local Land Service fees until the drought ends and providing low interest restocking and replanting loans are also covered by the petition.
Quotes attributable to Member for Maitland Jenny Aitchison;
“The State and Federal LNP Government has dropped the ball when it comes to supporting our farmers. Barnaby Joyce was supposed to move forward after the Intergovernmental Agreement but failed.”
“I would like to thank everyone who has signed this petition over the past three months. The collective show of compassion for the women and men fighting to keep their farms operating until conditions improve is truly humbling.”
“The petition may not be able to make it rain but with NSW Government support it can provide the next best thing which is water for domestic and stock use. I ask the Government to seriously consider this petition’s water carting proposal.”
“Our community wants to help NSW farmers survive through this drought. We have seen great generosity from the community to feed livestock and ensuring farmers have the daily essentials however State drought support is vital.”