The state’s land and water commissioner will lead the second phase of the government’s emergency drought response as the State’s Drought Coordinator.
Jock Laurie’s appointment concludes former National Rural Woman of the Year, Pip Job’s six-month tenure in the role, which she began in May.
Despite some good rainfall in October, Primary Industries Minister Niall Blair said the drought was nowhere near to breaking.
“We know some of the toughest conditions will come in the months ahead, which is why the NSW Government is moving to the detailed implementation phase of our $1.1 billion drought response,” Mr Blair said.
“As a true friend of our farmers, Mr Laurie’s advocacy, understanding of the need to protect soil and water, as well as strong relationships with all levels of government stand him in good stead to fulfill this critical role.”
Mr Blair said Mr Laurie would oversee the implementation of the government’s drought relief measures to make sure the right assistance was reaching those most in need.
“As the drought increases its impact in the area of water access and management, Mr Laurie’s experience as the NSW Land and Water Commissioner will play an important role in assessing at-risk areas and ensuring contingencies are put in place,” Mr Blair said.
“Pip has been the NSW Government’s ‘eyes and ears’ on the ground, making sure every region had a voice, and was critical to the design of the Emergency Drought Package.
“She has travelled from Tamworth to Temora, Broken Hill to Bathurst and everywhere in between to ensure the Government, struggling farmers and rural communities are working together as best as we can while we get through this difficult period.
“I would like to thank Pip for leading the first phase of our emergency drought response. Her dedication and commitment has ensured our farmers know we are standing side by side with them.”