Help's at hand in many forms for farming families
I'D LIKE to start this week's column by commending the efforts of Lismore locals who have put up their hands to raise funds and help support those farming families in the west of the state suffering through the drought.
Last week the NSW Government announced a $500million Emergency Drought Relief package targeting transport subsidies, waiving Local Land Services annual rates, fixed water charges in rural and regional areas, mental health and water cartage/ drought-related road infrastructure improvements.
While the immediate area around Lismore is holding on, local farmers are starting to feel the pinch, especially when it comes to purchasing fodder for livestock.
I would urge anyone seeking information on drought support to visit the Drought Hub website.
From drought to flood and we recently had a special visit from Minister for Emergency Services Troy Grant, who announced $2million in funding for Lismore City Council for clean-up costs following Cyclone Debbie.
Almost $300,000 was also provided to three organisations from the Community Resilience Innovation Program.
Council will implement a Get Ready all-hazards campaign to help residents, visitors and businesses in vulnerable locations to be disaster-ready and a model to establish Community Hubs during emergencies to support community-led responses to disasters.
Lismore Chamber of Commerce and Industry will develop an online portal to provide businesses in the Lismore region with quicker access to information before, during and post natural disasters and Northern Rivers Community Gateway will develop a system to manage, train and support spontaneous volunteers across the Northern Rivers.
This week, Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Deputy Premier John Barilaro announced the NSW Government's 20-year vision for a thriving regional NSW, which sets out how the $4.2billion Snowy Hydro Legacy Fund will be spent.
For our electorate, that means focusing on improving transport links to Tenterfield and Kyogle, continuing to build on skills and education at Murwillumbah and encourage emerging industry at Lismore.
For Lismore to be strong and for confidence to return to the economy, we need to support projects that create jobs and offer new opportunities for the future.
Is your group or organisation looking for some financial assistance?
Not-for-profits such as schools, charity, sports and community groups can apply to become a local donation partner at Return and Earn reverse vending machines.
Residents using one of the RVMs can choose to support their not-for-profit groups by returning their eligible drink containers and donating their refund amount to that local group.
Find out more at https://returnandearn.org.au /community/community- organisations/ or contact my office.
Applications close on August 17.