Bushfires in NSW, floods in WA – funds opened for impacted farmers

Beef Central, 16/02/2017

An appeal has been launched in NSW to assist landholders and residents affected by the devastating Merriwa-Sir Ivan bushfire, while farmers affected by widespread flooding in Western Australia are now able to access assistance from a State emergency relief fund.

Bushfire appeal for NSW farmers

The NSW Farmers’ Merriwa Branch has joined with the Merriwa Show Society to establish the Merriwa-Sir Ivan Bushfire Appeal to assist affected landholders and residents.

The local farming community has quickly jumped on board, already donating cattle that will be fed at the Alexander Downs feedlot at Merriwa and then sold to raise money for the appeal.

Merriwa Branch Chair, Pat Ryan, said farmers from as far as Wagga Wagga have also offered cattle for the appeal.

“Alexander Downs feedlot has kindly offered to feed the cattle at no cost for up to 80 days and all the sale proceeds will go towards the appeal,” Mr Ryan said.

Mr Ryan said the ‘charity cattle’ fundraiser idea spawned from successful steer feeder competitions at the Merriwa show.

“The aim with this Appeal is to be able to support those affected people in the longer term. The true impact of this fire will hit home in coming months and farmers and residents will really need the community’s support then.”

NSW Farmers’ President, Derek Schoen, said the Association has donated $5000 to kick start the appeal.

“We are keeping a close eye on the communities impacted by these devastating bushfires.

“We’ve seen a lot of livestock destroyed and more than 100 properties damaged or partially damaged.

“The full extent of the damage is still not known.

“We want the local farming community to know it has our full support. Not just now but in the coming weeks, months and years ahead.”

Donations can be made to the Merriwa- Sir Ivan Bushfire Appeal via the details below:

Account Name:  NSW Farmers’ Association Natural Disaster Relief Fund
BSB:   082-057
Account number:  18-215-7040
Bank:   NAB

Emergency fund opened to help flood affected WA farmers

Farmers who have been affected by the flooding caused by recent heavy rains are now able to access the Western Australia Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (WANDRRA) fund.

With much of the state now having been declared a natural disaster zone, the fund has been opened to assist those who have suffered from the direct impact of the floods.

WAFarmers President Tony York said while the rains missed harvest, there would be remedial works needed on farms to prepare for the new season.

“While having some moisture in the soil ahead of seeding is a good thing, these extremely heavy rains and, in some cases, floods would have resulted in loss of topsoil and uneven paddocks, so work will need to be done to prepare the land in time for the upcoming season,” he said.

“Further, there will have been damage to fencing, not to mention potential loss of livestock.

“As yet the extent of the damage is unclear, but with local government authorities within the City of Swan, and Mid West, Wheatbelt, Goldfields-Esperance, Kimberley, Pilbara, and Great Southern Regions all now able to access the WANDRRA fund, it is hoped that the damage can be assessed quickly and repairs done.”

As advised on the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) website, assistance can be provided to primary producers under WANDRRA in the following areas:

  • Professional advice grant – maximum reimbursement of $1,500;
  • Interest rate subsidy;
  • Freight subsidy – up to 50 per cent of the costs incurred;
  • Fencing if used for livestock; and,
  • Other measures as determined by the Department of Agriculture and Food WA and the OEM.

For more information or assistance, call 1800 198 231.

Click here to view the OEM website, or here to view the 2016/17 WANDRRA eligible disaster proclamation notification: Flooding in Western Australia (January and February 2017).

WANDRRA is jointly funded by the State and Federal Governments and is administered by the Office of Emergency Management, with assistance from other agencies.

Sources: NSW Farmers, WA Farmers


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