The drought continues to play havoc for people in regional NSW, and while this region is somewhat buffeted from the natural disaster, locals understand that communities like ours reach out to others in times of need.

Mid North Coast schools, organisations, businesses and a bunch of local champions have offered their time, money, goods and services to assist those people doing it tough right throughout this State. This incredible generosity is heartening – to see how so many in the region can come together and offer so much.

In line with community sentiment, the NSW Government continues to step up to the task too, with a drought assistance package worth $1 billion.

These measures include:
• $500 million for the Farm Innovation Fund
• $6.15 million for Farm Business Skills Professional Development Program
• $6 million for the Young Farmer Business Program
• $2.5 million for the Rural Support Workers Resilience Program
• $2.5 million Transport Assistance Package, including low-interest loans of up to $20,000 to transport stock, fodder or water for drought-affected properties
• $1 million for the communication of strategy
• $2.5 million for coordination and administration
• Additional staff within the Department of Primary Industries to process and streamline Farm Innovation Fund applications
• More than $4 million in mental health support for communities facing natural disaster and drought including
• New funding of $25 million to build and operate three new Doppler radar weather stations in the Central West and Far West to improve weather forecasting and help farmers make better business decisions
• A new kangaroo management plan to reduce kangaroo numbers in drought-hit areas
• Up to $5 million towards helping local councils repair dirt roads damaged by the temporary access for heavy vehicles carrying feed, water and livestock
• The new NSW Class 3 Drought Assistance Dimension Exemption Notice will allow more hay to be transported per truckload.

Interested parties should visit: www.droughthub.nsw.gov.au, call the NSW Rural Assistance Authority on 1800 678 593 or contact their Local Land Services on 1300 795 299.

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