MEDIA RELEASE - NSW Labor calls for immediate fee waiver relief & payout of bushfire recovery lo

Labor has demanded the Berejiklian Government provide immediate fee relief to primary producers who are struggling to remain viable. Many primary producers have been severely impacted over the past three years with the ongoing drought, the devastating bushfires and now coronavirus. Labor Shadow Minister for Primary Industries, Jenny Aitchison said: ‘It is totally unacceptable that the Berejiklian Government has not reached out to our struggling primary producers to offer fee relief. “The Minister for Agriculture, Mr Adam Marshall made a belated announcement on 4 March 2020 that the Government would waive the second instalment of commercial fishing management fees, a week after the payment deadline was due (some 4 weeks after the Labor Opposition called for the waiver).” Ms Aitchison said the Government’s announcements were taking too long, lacked detail and were not getting out to people in desperate need, saying: “The Deputy Premier has made a habit of announcing assistance packages, but no one is seeing it on the ground. “I’ve heard from oyster growers along the coast who have been severely impacted by post-fire water quality, followed by fire-related loss of visitation and now the impacts of the COVID19 pandemic. “I’ve spoken to farmers who were eligible for the Government’s bushfire loans, applied months ago, and still haven’t received the money. “It is simply unacceptable for the government to sit on their hands and let our essential primary producers struggle to stay afloat during these unprecedented times. “Just a few days ago I spoke to apiarists about the financial struggles they are facing with the site leasing fees and heavy vehicle registration. “Many primary producers across the state are subject to ongoing fees, charges and levies administered by the Department of Primary Industries, the NSW Food Authority and NSW Crown Lands. “The Minister for Agriculture is neglecting the primary industries sector at a time where they need his leadership the most.” Labor is demanding the Berejiklian Government waive state government fees and licences payable by primary producers to ensure the sector remains viable throughout these unprecedented times and beyond. THURSDAY, 23 APRIL 2020