Drought bites: Water bans introduced, emergency help for farmers

* Primary Industries Minister announces emergency drought assistance for local farmers

* Local residents to face new water restrictions from the weekend

Locals will have to tighten their water use as new restrictions come into force this weekend.

Tamworth Regional Council said its been forced to introduce level one restrictions in Tamworth, Kootingal and Moonbi after Chaffey Dam, council's main water source, dipped below 50 per cent capacity.

Under the new restrictions, residents can use sprinklers and fixed hoses for watering of gardens and lawns between 6pm and 8pm.

Hand-held hoses fitted with a trigger nozzle can be used for watering of lawns, gardens and vehicle washing from 6pm to 8am. 

Manilla and Nundle remain on level two water restrictions while Bendemeer is on level three.

Meanwhile, Primary Industries Minister Katrina Hodgkinson has announced an emergency drought assistance package for the local area.

The $7 million package was announced in Tamworth this morning to help drought ravaged farmers.

As part of the extra funding, farmers will have access to transport subsidies, water infrastructure grants and Local Land Services rates will be waived for 12 months, backdated to January.

The announcement covers 20 additional local government areas including Walcha, Armidale, Uralla, Gunnedah, Gwydir, Guyra, Inverell,Moree, Narrabri, Tenterfield and Tamworth.

It comes on top of a multi-million dollar package announced for Walgett, Bourke and Brewarrina council areas in November.

See tomorrow's Leader for more information

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