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Assistance in the Dunedoo region and in the Eurobodalla Shire

The Rudd Government has received an application from the NSW Government for Exceptional Circumstances (EC) assistance for farmers in the Dunedoo region.

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Tony Burke said the application has been referred to the independent National Rural Advisory Council (NRAC) for advice.

NRAC will assess the application and provide advice back to the Federal Government.

The proposed area incorporates the townships of Molong, Wellington, Geurie, Dubbo, Gilgandra, Coonabarabran, Tambar Springs, Cassilis, Ulan, Bylong, Rylstone and Hill End.

The region was previously drought declared in 2003 and the declarations were continued under a series of extensions until 2009.

Under the current Exceptional Circumstances system, state and territory governments must submit an application for regions to be considered for drought declaration.

The Rudd Government has also received a revised application for Exceptional Circumstances for the Eurobodalla-shire Shoalhaven area of New South Wales.

The revised application has been referred to the independent National Rural Advisory Council (NRAC) for assessment.

This follows an earlier application that was assessed by NRAC which recommended that EC not be declared.

The previous application covered a broader area which included Ulladulla, Batemans Bay, Moruya and Narooma.

The revised application includes Mollymook, Ulladulla, Bawley Point, Sussex Inlet, Bendalong Nelligen, Durras, Batemans Bay, Moruya, Bodalla, Narooma.

NRAC concluded that while seasonal conditions had been below average, there had not been a rare and severe climatic event across the entire area.

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Tony Burke said the current system required state and territory governments to submit applications for Exceptional Circumstances assistance.

“At the same time, we recognise the current system is not working for farmers and we are considering the details of possible reforms to the system, “ Mr Burke said

“Under the current system of drawing lines on a map, one farmer could be eligible for assistance and their neighbour across the fence may not be eligible.

“We want to help farmers prepare for future challenges, including climate change, rather than waiting until they are in crisis to offer assistance.”

by S. C.
04 march 2010, World News > Oceania

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