NSW Farmers president James Jackson says he's relieved action is finally being taken to address the mouse plague affecting regional areas, with residents in the Dubbo area set to potentially benefit from government support.
The NSW Government announced a $50 million 'mouse trap' package to offer farmers, households and small businesses assistance to battle the rodent plague which has well and truly taken hold in Dubbo and surrounding areas.
Albeit not at the proportions observed farther west people all over the city has reported the presence of mice, however Molong residents like Kaite Matilda have been catching upwards of 30 a day, with no obvious respite.
While primary producers in the are will have access to free baiting through grain treatments, the government's support package will also include rebates to assist households and small businesses meet the cost of baits.
Households will be able to apply for rebates of up to $500 and small businesses will be eligible to claim up to $1,000, which will be accessible through Service NSW.
"Communities are at their wits' end ... [Thursday's] announcement has been acknowledgement from the government that this is a crisis," Mr Jackson said.
"Rural residents have been forced to endure the impacts of this plague and our recent survey on the matter shows the immense toll it has had on people's health and well-being.
"Some farmers have outlaid up to $150,000 on baiting already and we've seen lost grain fodder and damage to farm machinery, not to mention the stress that has accumulated on top of bushfires, drought and COVID-19."
Grain treatment facilities will be established in rural and regional areas of the state, which are yet to be confirmed, while the government has also scheduled additional, expert workshops to provide advice for those impacted.
The NSW Department of Primary Industries, is also set to launch an unprecedented body of research to identify and potentially develop future tools to combat mice plagues, including biological controls.
That will come as the government seeks urgent approval from the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority for the use of bromadiolone, the strongest bait in the country.
Danica Leys, chief executive officer of the Country Women's Association of NSW, backed Mr Jackson, adding the plague has become an issue of health as well as industry for all regional areas, including Dubbo.
Deputy premier John Barilaro also said the government will form an advisory committee involving key parties to ensure access to expert advice and guidance for those affected.
Member for Dubbo Dugald Saunders welcomed the funding saying his electorate, stretching from Trangie in the west to Mudgee in the east, had done it toughoff the back of drought and the COVID-19 pandemic, and this mice plague is devastating communities who are already suffering.
"I have received a lot of feedback from communities that we needed to act on this mice plague so I am pleased to announce the NSW Government is coming to the table with this $50 million support package," Mr Saunders said.
"I know the impacts of this infestation run deep through the community."
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