The NSW Farmers’ Association is hopeful Tuesday’s state budget will reflect commitments by the Berejiklian-Barilaro government to prioritise regional NSW.
Association president Derek Schoen said a farmer–focused budget would not only benefit the state’s farmers but it would have a positive flow-on effect for regional communities and the NSW economy.
The association is calling for $11 million in new funding for Local Land Services (LLS) to be the ‘boots on the ground’ supporting farmers, as well as $25 million per year continued funding of LLS programs and adequate funding for the implementation of the new biodiversity reforms.
Its wish-list also includes faster roll out of the $6 billion expenditure on infrastructure that supports agricultural productivity, $1.5 million for a study of distributed energy generation opportunities in regional NSW and $5 million to develop a Q fever prevention strategy.
It also wants funding to develop a cross-jurisdictional Fruit Fly Action Plan and for improved pest animal management arrangements.
“Rural and regional New South Wales wants to see the promises of a renewed commitment to the bush matched with actual dollars in the budget,” Mr Schoen said.
“The Budget is the Premier and Deputy Premier's opportunity to prove their words, after 12 months of change in government, are backed by real cash, real projects and real outcomes.
“In order for the NSW Government to reach its target of 30 per cent growth in primary industries by 2020, investment in our agricultural industry is necessary.”