When it comes to agricultural, working farms come in all shapes and sizes.
Some are large scale farms covering vast amounts of land, while others are smaller, holding a fewer number of livestock; both contributing to the agricultural industry and both struggling in times of drought.
But, when it comes to the drought relief package, the NSW Government has clear eligibility criteria for which farmers can claim.
The Drought Transport Subsidies are only for some; being farmers who earn more than 50 per cent of their gross income from primary production.
A criteria that MidCoast Council mayor and small cattle farmer David West said “is grossly unfair.”
“I have up to 100 head of cattle on my property,” he explained.
“I’m what you call a small time cattle producer.
“And at the moment I’m paying $120 per day on feed.”
But as Cr West earns more than 50 per cent of his income off-farm, he isn’t eligible for the fodder subsidy.
“Small farmers contribute a lot to the Australian agricultural industry,” he said.
Cr West explained how small farmers bought all the same things larger farmers did, like feed, chemicals and seed, as well as utilise the services of veterinarians.
“We love our animals and have a responsibility to take care of them,” he Cr West said.
He said the emotional journey for a small farmer was the same as a large farmer.
Watching the cattle close to dying was just as difficult for small farmers, he explained.
A Department of Primary Industries spokesperson said: “The drought transport subsidy is available to all farmers on the condition that they meet the criteria.”
A bit of background...
On Monday, July 30, the NSW Government announced a $500 million NSW Emergency Drought Relief Package to help farmers manage the effects of the current drought.
The three major elements of the $500 million NSW Emergency Drought Relief Package are:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.