AN EXTRA $350 million has been added to the state’s Farm Innovation Fund (FIF).
The boost effectively raises the fund from $650 million to $1 billion, giving farming communities affected by drought a long-term guarantee they have a strong future.
Willunga, Wellington, the property of Hugh and Mardi Taylor on which they run their Boxleigh Park Merino stud, was the venue with young ewes yarded in the background as deputy premier John Barilaro made the announcement yesterday.
Mr Bailaro said the Coalition government was taking the Farm Innovation Fund away from just being a fund that responds, to a fund that’s perpetual for the future.
“And it will be from this fund in the future that we will be able to manage droughts.”
The investment in drought support rises to almost $1.5 billion.
“The additional $350 million we have added is another signal to our farmers that no matter what conditions you face we will continue to stand side-by-side with you, now and into the future,” Mr Barilaro said.
The Farm Innovation Fund has already helped more than 1700 farmers across the State including the Taylor family drought-proof their properties, providing low-interest loans to fund capital works such as new cattle yards, solar power, silos or bore water systems.
Mr Barilaro said NSW Government was also increasing the value of low interest loans available from $250,000 up to $1 million.
“This allows a farmer to apply twice a year for up to half-a-million dollars towards new infrastructure.
“Further, we are turning the FIF into a future fund where interest earned off loans will be repaid to that fund and remain in that fund so over the next four to five years the fund will be available when and if we need it.”