NSW Budget a mixed bag for Ag

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The New South Wales Budget has been met with a mixed reaction from farming industry groups within the state. The New South Wales Budget has been met with a mixed reaction from farming industry groups within the state. The New South Wales Budget has been met with a mixed reaction from farming industry groups within the state.

Advocacy group NSW Farmers has praised the extension of the Mobile Black Spot program announced in this week’s NSW Budget, but has slammed the proposal to sell off Local Land Services (LLS) assets.


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The Department of Primary Industries’ aspiration of a 30 per cent boost in agriculture by 2020 has taken a hit in the NSW Budget, according to NSW Farmers.

Group  president Derek Schoen is unimpressed with a proposal within the NSW Budget to sell $19 million of Local Land Services (LLS) property, which he feels will restrict LLC’s ability to implement landmark biodiversity reforms.

"This is disappointing news," Schoen says. "If LLS assets are to be sold, then the revenue raised must go towards infrastructure to support farmers.

"Without strong commitments for additional LLS resourcing, we are not confident Government will be able to roll out biodiversity reforms to farmers as promised on January 1, 2017."

Although disappointed with this aspect of the NSW Budget, Schoen says there are some wins for regional communities.

"The accelerated commitment of $15 million in new money to extend the Mobile Black Spot program is the one new initiative the NSW Government has done in this budget to increase farmer productivity," he says.

Schoen is also happy with the plans to upgrade key sections of the Newell Highway.

"It is pleasing to see the Government continue to roll out new sections of the Newell, and continuing commitments to the Mitchell, Oxley, Golden Highways," he says.

Vital water, regional hospital, and police station upgrades contained in the NSW budget, are also being praised by NSW Farmers.

"We welcome the long overdue investment in the Broken Hill water pipeline and the $25 million commitment to the Dubbo Hospital upgrade and additional funds for Tamworth and Orange Base hospitals," Schoen says.

"Given the current issues surrounding crime in rural areas, we’re pleased to see $57 million for upgraded police stations at Gunnedah, Moss Vale, Deniliquin, Walgett and Coffs Harbour."

 

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