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NSW scraps drought declarations

Friday February 8, 2013 - 10:15 EDT
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Monthly drought declarations will be replaced with Seasonal Conditions Reports which offer farmers advice on drought mitigation measures. - ABC

Monthly drought declarations will now be a thing of the past for New South Wales farmers.

The State Government is scrapping the system of state drought declarations as it overhauls the way it helps farmers prepare for and manage drought.

The declarations will be replaced with new Seasonal Conditions Reports, which offer farmers advice on what mitigation measures they should be considering.

It is part of a new national approach adopted last year.

The Primary industries Minister Katrina Hodgkinson says under the old system farmers had to wait for a district to be drought declared before they could access a range of subsidies.

But she says the changes will mean farmers can now also get help before the drought hits.

"Instead of having to wait for an EC to be declared, with our new monthly seasonal conditions report, the committee will be able to see if there's a trend happening which should trigger those additional support services to come into effect," she said.

Ms Hodgkinson says there will also be low interest loans for up to 15 years under a special conservation scheme to protect the state's biological resource base.

"This is a way basically of protecting your farm against future climatic change," she said.

"We want people to be really prepared and exercise resilience with all the various climatic conditions that occur in NSW.

"So we're also encouraging people to attend pro farm courses and also there'll be additional training able to be provided through Tocal (Agricultural College) and also through TAFE programs around the state."


© ABC 2013

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