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Bushfire recovery grants to help struggling farmers

Farmers hit by summer bushfires across NSW, including in the Canberra region, will be able to access government grants of up to $15,000 as part of a joint recovery plan by the state and federal governments.

The assistance will initially be made available to primary producers in Warrumbungle, Coonamble, Gilgandra, Harden, Yass Valley and Cooma-Monaro, with both the NSW and Commonwealth government assessing whether other areas may also need the financial help.

Bushfires in January burnt through tens of thousands of hectares of land, including more than 40,000 in the Warrumbungle fires near Coonabarabran in NSW’s north, more than 14,000 hectares west of Yass, and more than 10,000 near Cooma.

Livestock losses were also in the tens of thousands, with farmers often struggling to source feed in the immediate aftermath of the fires for animals that survived.

The $15,000 clean-up and recovery grants under category C of the jointly funded federal/state Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements are in addition to other support already available, including personal hardship and distress assistance, loans to primary producers and small businesses, assistance with essential public asset restoration and freight subsidies for primary producers.

Primary producers in the fire affected areas should contact the NSW Rural Assistance Authority on 1800 678 593 to see if they are eligible for the grant, or see the NDRRA website or the NSW emergency department website for further information.