Subsidy called for

FORMER LHPA Northern Tablelands director Jim Swales and Bundarra grazier Scott Henderson told Ms Hodgkinson the most useful thing the government could do was provide a fodder subsidy “and shore people up” by subsidising interest rates on their bank loans. 

“We don’t need it next week or next month – we need it now,” Mr Swales, a third-generation farmer who owns Woodlands, Kingstown, said.

“We’re disappointed we haven’t received an answer sooner, but grateful to the minister for visiting and hoping what she takes to Cabinet will answer our needs.

“I’m certainly happy with the response – I’m not happy with the time it’s taken to be put into effect.”

But he said it probably wouldn’t happen this week as Ms Hodgkinson was still travelling to meet farmers.

“I think Cabinet is already aware that she’s bringing a submission to them – whatever it is, she won’t be making an announcement this week,” Mr Swales said.

“It’s important for political figures to convince themselves what they’re hearing is accurate. 

“The minister understands. I mean, her own background is rural: she understands the issues.”

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