Farmers’ crisis talks confirmed

DROUGHT-STRICKEN farmers’ pleas for help have been heard after the state’s peak drought assistance committee confirmed it would tour some of the region’s driest areas this month.

A sub-committee of the Regional Assistance Advisory Committee (RAAC) will visit parts of the North West from January 20 to discuss the area’s worsening seasonal conditions.

The committee will hold crisis meetings with farmers and community groups in the Coonamble, Pilliga, Moree and Cobar regions.

NSW Rural Assistance Authority acting general manager John Newcombe said it was an “ideal opportunity” to see the devastating impact drought was having on local landholders.

“Farmers will have the chance to discuss their own situation with the committee and outline how the continuing dry conditions are affecting farming operations,” Mr Newcombe said.

“Committee members will also meet with rural financial counsellors, local government and other bodies to talk about the broader impacts of the drought.”

The committee will then report back to the NSW government and advise on any additional support measures that may be needed.

“Many parts of the North West have done it tough during the past year,” Mr Newcombe said.

“Unfortunately many producers did not get a winter crop off this year and, for those who did, yield was down significantly.

“Water supplies continue to dwindle and hand feeding and water cartage is continuing across large parts of the North West.”

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