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No drought help for unincorporated area in north-western NSW

Friday November 22, 2013 - 09:55 EDT
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There are calls for drought assistance to be extended to unincorporated areas of north-western NSW. - ABC

A couple from north-western New South Wales is unsure if they will be eligible for the latest drought support, due to the government declarations being based on council areas.

Beryl Leigo and her husband run a sheep, cattle and goat operation at Wanaaring, in the unincorporated area of the state, west of Bourke.

She says they expect to start carting water and buying feed for stock soon.

Mrs Leigo says the situation is just as bad as in the Bourke, Walgett and Brewarrina council areas, where the support has been declared.

"Nine times out of 10 it's probably not an issue, but it is with this one," she says.

"Usually drought things go with LHPA areas before and we used to have our own LHPA - the Wanaaring board.

"They then were amalgamated with the bigger group and usually drought things are declared by LHPA areas, so this has never actually been an issue before."

Mrs Leigo says the situation on their property is just as bad as it is around Bourke.

"I don't know how much worse it can get," she said.

"All the surface water's gone.

"Yes, we've got long tall grass, but there's absolutely no nutritional value in it and it's been downhill for months now.

"In the last 20 months we've had 250 millimetres of rain, so that says it for itself."

She says the drought is not restricted by council boundaries and is disappointed with the government's treatment of farmers in the area.

"Here we go again, the bureaucrats haven't looked past," she said.

"They just think drought stops where there's a line drawn in the sand, and that's a pretty devastating feeling."


- ABC

© ABC 2013

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