Help for farmers
FARMERS have been struck by disaster after disaster during a disruptive few years, and now cash grants are on the way to help flood-affected producers get back on their feet.
Minister for Agriculture Adam Marshall had boots on the ground in Moree on Tuesday, visiting a farm where floodwaters had swept through and caused devastation just days earlier.
"We have just been lurching from one crisis, one disaster to the next, drought, COVID, flooding and in between, a bit of a locust plague, a mice plague," Mr Marshall said.
"Any farmer that has been able to come out of what we have been through for the past few years will pretty much be able to survive anything and the next few years will be for rebuilding."
Mr Marshall announced cash grants of up to $75,000 would be handed out to farmers in flood-affected areas through the Rural Assistance Authority.
"They are available to primary producers in any local government area that has been disaster declared," he said.
"That $75,000 cash grant is available to help farmers repair fences that have been destroyed by floodwaters, farm infrastructure, buy extra fodder for their stock if fodder has been washed away or spoiled by floodwaters, or indeed actually restock."
The agriculture minister said the scheme would be "simple" and mirror grants given after bushfires and during the big dry.
The Moree Plains Shire area has been disaster declared, and producers can apply for grants through the Rural Assistance Authority.
Mr Marshall said he hoped "green shoots" would emerge after the floods and mark a fresh start for local agriculture.
"With the soil moisture profile filled up, a lot of the dams filled up, we are really set now for a huge next couple of years of production in this region," he said.
Clean-up could continue for weeks
BELONGINGS which once were centrepieces in Moree homes have been turned out on the street, waterlogged and muddy, waiting for collection as the huge flood clean-up effort continues.
Emergency services are working tirelessly to tidy streets and homes days after a major flood swept through town.
State Emergency Service (SES), Rural Fire Service (RFS) and Fire and Rescue NSW crews have travelled from near and far and are still on deck to help Moree recover.
Moree Shire Council is doing kerbside collections this week and offering free dumping at the local tip for flood rubbish and debris.
Moree RFS captain Rhonda Gallagher and her crew were at a Moree property on Tuesday, cleaning out sheds and piling up flood debris collected from sodden paddocks.
She told the Leader voluneer teams had been pumping water out of up to 18 homes a day since the flood last week.
Most evacuated residents have gone home, but nine houses have been left uninhabitable and almost 100 others were damaged.
Moree's state member Adam Marshall, emergency services minister David Elliott, SES commissioner Carlene York and RFS commissioner Rob Rogers toured the town on Tuesday, thanking the community for their continued efforts with the clean-up set to take weeks.
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