As the NSW government announces bushfire disaster assistance there seems to be one thing missing.
Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall said not all parts of the state were getting access to emergency free fodder support straight away.
While information released by the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) states the Kempsey area would have access to emergency fodder, Mr Marshall said producers in other bushfire affected areas were saying otherwise.
"I've had farmers ring me asking me where they can pick up some bales of hay to keep cows going while they find a spot for agistment, and as you know finding somewhere with feed on the ground is hard right now," Mr Marshall said.
Mr Marshall said in the past, especially in the last big bushfires of 2019, where the country was burned out and declared a natural disaster, there was free emergency fodder coordinated by the Local Land Services (LLS).
"It was one of the first things that came out," he said.
"If the government doesn't step in and provide this, like it has in the past for bushfire disaster, we are not just going to have a bushfire disaster on our hands, we are going to have an animal welfare disaster."
A DPI spokesperson said the department and LLS had activated the Agricultural and Animal Services Functional Area in the Kempsey area to support bushfire-affected farmers, including emergency fodder.
But the department did not indicate whether free emergency fodder was available for other bushfire affected areas of the state.
Instead, it pointed out that disaster assistance had been made available for bushfire affected farmers and landholders in seven local government areas, including Kempsey, Mid-Coast and Port Macquarie Hastings LGAs following bushfires on October 16 onwards, plus Inverell, Kyogle, and Tenterfield LGAS (for bushfires on October 13 onwards) and Mid-Western LGA (for bushfires on October 17 onwards).
The assistance measures included concessional interest rate loans for primary producers up to a maximum of $130,000 (interest rates currently set at 1.79pc), transport subsidies for primary producers of up to 50pc of the total freight cost to a maximum of $15,000/farm per financial year, donated fodder transport subsidies for the costs of donating and transporting donated fodder to affected properties or storage facilities in a central location up to a maximum distance of 1500 kilometres
According to a NSW Rural Fire Service spokesperson there are 67 bushfires across the state, with 18 not yet contained. "We are expecting challenging conditions in the next day with hot north-westerly winds and forecast thunderstorms," the spokesperson said.
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