The Central NSW Councils welcome the focus on regional NSW in the recent state budget. The following announcements summarise investment pertinent to this region.
• $355 million to extend critical drought assistance measures for farmers and rural communities
• $170 million for the Drought Stimulus Package
• $185 million in on-farm Emergency Drought Relief measures including continuing transport cost rebates and waiving annual land rates
• Additional $350 million towards the Farm Innovation Fund
• $3.4 million investment to start the process of extending the Wild Dog Exclusion Fence
• $24.4 million towards delivering three new Doppler radars in Western NSW
• $15 million to build on partnerships with groups like GRDC, CSIRO and the University of New England to develop new R&D capacity and help keep our primary producers world leading.
ESTABLISH AN INDEPENDENT AGRICULTURE COMMISSIONER
$2 million over four years to establish an independent Agriculture Commissioner, with legislated powers to protect the Right to Farm, allowing farmers to undertake lawful agricultural practices whilst reducing conflict with other land users.
$24.4 million to deliver three new Doppler radars in western New South Wales. The new radar stations will provide real time rainfall data and wind observations to 34 local government areas in Western New South Wales, covering almost 30 per cent
of the state by 2022.
IMPROVING QUAD BIKE SAFETY FOR NSW FARMERS
$2.8 million over two years to extend the Quad Bike Safety Improvement Program, including rebates for farmers who prefer drones as alternatives to quad bikes.
ROADS AND TRANSPORT
• $52.4 million for continued delivery of overtaking lanes along the Newell Highway.
• $25.9 million to continue planning for the new Dubbo bridge on the Newell Highway over the Macquarie River and $5.8 million for planning the Newell Highway upgrade at Parkes.
• $20 million to continue delivery of the Main Western Rail Line Capacity Enhancements.
• $3 million for detailed investigation of potential international air freight hub sites that will transport regional NSW produce from paddock to plane to plate, once the current prefeasibility study is complete.
• $200 million to reduce Newell Highway flooding between West Wyalong and Forbes.
• $2.5 billion for the first stages of the duplication of the Great Western Highway
between Katoomba and Lithgow.
STRONGER COUNTRY COMMUNITIES FUND
$100 million allocated for round three of the Stronger Country Communities Fund
for projects and programs in the regions, including $50 million aimed at supporting young people.
WATER SECURITY FOR NSW
$32 million over three years to investigate the raising of the Wyangala Dam Wall (as part of a $650 million commitment) with environmental and economic studies to commence this year.