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Discussions underway over Central North North-West EC area.



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The Hon. Tony Burke MP Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

Discussions underway over Central North North-West EC area

8 October 2008 DAFF08/136B

The Federal Government has formally asked for advice from the independent National Rural Advisory Council (NRAC) on a possible extension of drought assistance in parts of the Central North North-West Exceptional Circumstances (EC) area in New South Wales.

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Tony Burke said he had received a request from the NSW Government and immediately referred it to the NRAC.

NSW Minister for Primary Industries Ian Macdonald advised in the request that a number of distinct areas within the Central North North-West EC region had not sufficiently recovered from drought.

The NSW Government also provided updated rainfall and seasonal conditions data for the relevant areas.

Exceptional Circumstances boundaries are proposed by state and territory governments, based on data which is then assessed by the NRAC.

The areas proposed to be considered for a possible recommencement of Exceptional Circumstances assistance include:

• most of the Coonabarabran Rural Lands Protection Board (RPLB); • the Northern Slopes RLPB; Division B of Moree RLPB, northern parts of Divisions A and B of Tamworth RLPB, northern parts of Division A of Armidale RLPB - including the towns of Bingara, Barraba, Inverell and Warialda; and

• division C of Tamworth RLPB, including the towns of Quirindi and Werris Creek.

Mr Burke said he was confident the NRAC would review the new information and provide advice on proposed boundary changes as a matter of urgency.

“Where fresh requests have been made for revised EC boundaries with new information, the NRAC has been quick to consider the requests,” he said.