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EC announcement timely.



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Media Release     Wednesday 20 August, 2008  PR/154/08 

 

EC announcement timely

 

The NSW Farmers’ Association says the announcement by the Federal Government to extend Exceptional Circumstances (EC) assistance until early next year for a number of areas in NSW is timely and welcome.   

NSW Farmers’ Association President Jock Laurie says it’s pleasing to see the Federal Government has recognised the ongoing dry conditions and rolled over EC declarations for the large majority of drought affected areas in NSW.   

“We are aware that there are some areas that have not been rolled over and we will continue to work with relevant authorities to ensure appropriate measures are made available to assist farmers in these difficult times,” Mr Laurie said.   

All EC assistance was due to expire on 30 September, 2008, but this latest announcement means a large number of areas now have ongoing support until 31 March, 2009.   

The Federal Government has announced that the areas of South Coast-Moss Vale, Armidale, Casino as well as parts of the Central North-North West and North-East Northern New England areas will not have EC assistance extended beyond 30 September 2008.   

“The Association has been working with the NSW Department of Primary Industries to collect information on the status of areas in NSW and ensure that the most up to date and accurate information was used in the review process,” Mr Laurie said.   

“The extension of EC declarations will allow farmers in those areas already receiving support to continue to receive that support, and farmers not currently receiving support in those areas are still able to apply,” he said.   

“The Association has continued to highlight the fact that farm families and small businesses throughout many rural communities are still hurting - meaning both levels of Government must be careful when revising the assistance available.   

“We welcome this latest announcement, which follows careful review and consideration,” Mr Laurie concluded.   

Further information regarding the status of all areas in NSW is available from http://www.daff.gov.au/agriculture-food/drought/ec     The Association encourages relevant authorities to notify affected farmers as soon as possible of this decision so they are fully aware of the implications of the announcement on their business. 

Contact: Amanda Barwick (Media Manager) 0428 400 736 Ellen McNamara (Media Officer) 0429 990 218