28 April 2010
The Rudd Government has referred an Exceptional Circumstances (EC) submission from the NSW Government to the independent National Rural Advisory Council (NRAC).
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Tony Burke received a submission from NSW Primary Industries Minister Steve Whan, seeking a review of NRAC’s recommendation not to extend the EC declaration for the Bundarra region.
“I have referred the revised application for EC assistance from the NSW Government directly to NRAC for them to assess,” Mr Burke said.
“The new application limits the EC assessment to a smaller area of the Bundarra district.”
The new area focuses on a part of the Bundarra district that broadly encompasses the towns of Tingha, Gilgai and Copeton. The previous application had covered a greater area bordered by the towns of Bingara, Barraba, Kingstown, Wandsworth and Inverell.
“The government is committed to supporting farmers through what is some of the toughest conditions of their lives,” Mr Burke said.
“We recognise the current system is not working for our farmers and we’re considering the details of possible reforms to the drought system.
“We want to help farmers prepare for future challenges rather than waiting until they are in crisis to offer assistance.”More information on EC assistance can be found at www.daff.gov.au/agriculture-food/drought/ec.