On 30 July 2018 the NSW Government announced a $500 million Emergency Drought Relief Package.
The Government has implemented the initiative at the end of the driest start to a year since 1982 to help farmers manage the effects of the current drought.
The package is effective immediately, with the NSW Rural Assistance Authority processing applications for subsidies from 6 August 2018.
The package includes significant drought transport subsidies, a refund of interest charges under the Farm Innovation Fund and the following waivers on government fees and charges:
- Waiver of all Local Lands Services Rates for all landholders in 2019, including general rates and all rates associated with livestock health, pest management and stock identification. The Meat Industry Levy will also be waived.
- Waiver of the fixed charge component of water access licences issued by Water NSW to licence holders in regional and rural areas. The water usage fee component will still be charged to all water users.
It is important to note that Water NSW is behind (by up to 2 water years) in its invoicing of fees and charges, so licence holders may still be required to pay fixed charges for past years in the current water year and these arrears amounts will still need to be adjusted if you are selling or buying a water access licence.
The drought relief package also includes funding for counselling and mental health, critical services in regional communities and animal welfare and stock disposal.
For more information visit www.droughthub.nsw.gov.au