DEPUTY premier John Barilaro doesn’t know if the government’s drought relief will be enough and a spring season without rain could trigger further funding.
Mr Barilaro said the government is working on new packages in case of two scenarios.
“If it rains and the drought breaks, what do we do to support farmers to get right back into it,” he said.
“The alternative is, if we continue to have the dry spell and the drought bites even harder, what’s next and what else can we do.”
Mr Barilaro chose Brian and Todd Wilson’s Wallamore Road dairy farm as the most recent stop on a regional NSW “listening” tour.
While Brian had the ear of the deputy premier, he said it’s hard to know how much support will be needed.
Mr Wilson said the farm has spent $100,000 more on fodder than it had planned, but welcomed the $30,000 subsidy as offering some help.
“It would be easy if we knew when the drought was going to end … it’s hard to predict how much more help we’re going to need when we haven’t got a finishing date,” Mr Wilson said.
“If this drought continues, I think they’re, from our discussion earlier, prepared to lift the cap.”
Mr Barilaro said the drought package announced on Monday was “comprehensive” and “well-received”, but “it’s never going to be enough”.
He said the government was working with Pacific-National to get grain and feed stocks into NSW to lower haulage costs and identify silos in key regional centres to store supplies.
While the deputy premier said the federal government had “kicked us a little bit” and wasn’t going to play a “blame game”, Mr Barilaro said the Commonwealth would have to look at what else could be done with regards to household assistance.
“We know there is no rain coming and if we miss the spring window, more is going to be required and I think the feds do need to step up at that point,” he said.
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