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Additional regions in NSW and Queensland to receive Exceptional Circumstances Drought Relief



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; Media Release

ADDITIONAL REGIONS IN NSW AND QUEENSLAND TO RECEIVE EXCEPTIONAL CIRCUMSTANCES DROUGHT RELIEF

The Minister for Primary Industries and Energy and Deputy Leader of the National Party, John Anderson, today announced the declaration of drought exceptional circumstances (DEC) in parts of NSW and Queensland.

“Assistance to farmers who are in DEC declared areas includes interest rate subsidies, income support through the Exceptional Circumstances Relief Payment and concessional access to a Health Care Card, Family Payments and the Youth Allowance,” Mr Anderson said.

New DEC areas in NSW

Mr Anderson said he had declared DEC in an additional area in the Monaro region, to be known as Monaro C, and the reinstatement to DEC of southern portions of the Wilcannia and Cobar Rural Lands Protection Boards (RLPBs).

Monaro C covers the eastern portion of the Bombala RLPB extending from the existing declared areas of Monaro A and B in the west, to the border of the Board in the east and south.

Mr Anderson said for a region to meet the criteria for DEC, the drought it is experiencing must be “rare and severe” - occurring approximately once in 20 to 25 years and lasting longer than 12 months.

“Monaro Region C has experienced extremely low rainfall compared with historical records. This drought is clearly outside the normal risk management strategies of farmers,” he said.

Mr Anderson also announced the reinstatement of portions of the Wilcannia and Cobar RLPBs to DEC.

“At the time of revocation of the Wilcannia and Cobar RLPBs, there was some evidence that conditions in the south east region of Wilcannia and the south west region of Cobar were not as favourable as in the rest of Wilcannia and Cobar.

“The Rural Adjustment Scheme Advisory Council (RASAC) has now advised me that the expected recovery in the southern areas of these RLPBs has not eventuated and they have been reinstated to DEC.

“The conditions in these parts of Wilcannia and Cobar are considered to be more similar to those in the neighbouring RLPB of Hillston, which still remain in DEC.”

Minister for Primary Industries and Energy

DPIE98/109A 30 August 1998

...72.

Parliament House. Canberra ACT 2600 Tel: (06) 277 7520 Fax: (06) 273 4120

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The DEC declaration covers the area bounded by the Hillston-Cobar RLPB boundary to Red Tank Paddington Road, north to Mt Doris Road, west to Baden Park Ivanhoe Road, north to Kewell East, west to Yelta and Bumdoo, north to Cowary Road, south west to Cowary Teryawynia Blantyre to RLPB boundary, east along RLPB boundary to Mt Monara Morfield

to Red Tank.

Queensland

The portion of the Shire of Duaringa north of the Capricorn Highway (through the towns of Blackwater and Duaringa) will also be re-instated to DEC.

Mr Anderson eligible farmers in this area would have entitlements to Exceptional Circumstances Relief Payment backdated to 7 July 1998.

“RASAC has advised me that the expected recovery in the northern portion of the Duaringa Shire has failed, primarily due to patchy and ineffective rainfall and poor pasture response, and that it should be reinstated to DEC,” Mr Anderson said.

Media contact: Robert Haynes (0419) 493511 or (02) 6277 7520