Mouse bait access improved

NSW Farmers negotiates better access for mouse bait rebate

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Changes to the eligibility process should now make mouse bait rebate approvals easier.

Changes to the eligibility process should now make mouse bait rebate approvals easier.

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The Rural Assistance Authority has developed a new form of eligibility involving bait suppliers and agronomists to improve access for people who previously have had trouble applying.

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Farmers on the frontline of the mouse plague will find government support more accessible thanks to the work of NSW Farmers.

The association's vice president Xavier Martin said the Rural Assistance Authority was working with individual primary producers to demonstrate their eligibility, and had developed a new form of eligibility involving bait suppliers and agronomists to improve access for people who previously have had trouble applying.

"This is great news and it comes after some serious lobbying from NSW Farmers," Mr Martin said.

He said NSW Farmers wanted to make sure as many eligible producers as possible could access the funds to get on top of the mouse plague to reduce the risk to this year's harvest.

Earlier this year NSW Farmers secured a $150 million package from the NSW Government after intense lobbying, with estimates the mouse plague would chew a billion-dollar hole in the farmgate value of winter crops.

Related:NSW Government delivers $100m zinc phosphide rebate to combat mouse plague

A NSW Farmers survey found a third of respondents estimated losses between $50,000 and $150,000, with a loss of stored grain and fodder having the greatest financial impact.

"We worked hard to secure this funding from the state government, and I would encourage anyone who's had trouble in the past to reach out to the RAA and try again," Mr Martin said.

"I don't want anyone to self-assess or not take up this support because they think it's too hard - NSW Farmers has been talking to primary producers about the challenges and we're thankful the RAA has listened to us.

"With another boom in mouse numbers on the way, it's vital we get on top of the problem now."

The zinc phosphide rebate for primary producers program involves a one-off rebate to assist primary producers in eligible local government areas experiencing financial hardship due to the mouse plague.

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