Deputy Premier John Barilaro, pleas for city folk to visit country

State Drought Coordinator Pip Job (far left) with Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Deputy Premier John Barilaro and Primary Industries Minister Niall Blair. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE
State Drought Coordinator Pip Job (far left) with Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Deputy Premier John Barilaro and Primary Industries Minister Niall Blair. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

City dwellers have been asked to make a trip to country NSW and help support regional businesses and communities doing it tough during the drought.

The Deputy Premier, Minister for Regional NSW, Small Business and Skills John Barilaro made the plea and said it is one of the simplest and most meaningful ways city people can support regional towns and cities.

“My callout...is this – it’s a simple callout: Get out for the drought,” Mr Barilaro told Parliament House during Question Time on Thursday, August 16.

“Even though we are in drought, our cafes are still brewing coffee, our shops are still open, we are still in business.

Mr Barilaro said some of the most beautiful iconic experiences are there ready for people to enjoy.

“Support our businesses by getting out and spending some money in our regions,” he said.

“When you spend that money in a café, that money goes around that community. It means employment remains, jobs remain.”

Mr Barilaro said service stations, cafes and hotels would love to accommodate people.

“Our servos would love you driving by. Our cafes would love you to have brekkie with some locals,” he said.

“Our accommodation houses, our hotels would love to have you stay, and I tell you this, you’ll get that country hospitality each and every time.”

Mr Barilaro also acknowledged the enormous fundraising efforts and generous donations that have already been made by members of the public, community groups and the corporate sector in response to the crippling drought.

“As a government we have already announced over $1 billion in drought relief measures for our farmers, but we all know governments can only do so much, and at a time like this, it’s not just farmers that are hurting, it’s business owners and entire communities,” Mr Barilaro said.

“As sad as this drought has been, it’s also brought out the best in people, as we rally to help and show our compassion for people who are clearly hurting.

“So, if you get the chance, please, get out for the drought, and spend some time, and some money in our regional areas.

“You might just be surprised what regional NSW has to offer.”

This story City folk encouraged to get out to the country and support local businesses first appeared on Western Magazine.