Farm assistance

 While farmers mop up fire ravaged paddocks they face a big task of getting back to normality.

For those affected by the fire, there is some government assistance available in the form of transport subsidies and loans.

Beverly Houterman from the Rural Financial Counselling Service said they were available to help farmers with subsidies.

“All you have to do is fill out a form wrong and it all comes to a grinding halt,” Ms Houterman said.

The Department of Primary Industries (DPI) said transport freight subsidies of up to 50 per cent on the carriage of livestock and fodder are available to help primary producers.

The maximum subsidy available is $15,000 per annum.

Loans of up to $130,000 are available (subject to certain eligibility criteria), at a concessional interest rate for those in urgent need.

The loans could be used to meet carry-on requirement and the replacement and repair of damage not covered by insurance.

“Already we have seen the dedication of volunteers on the fire ground and now farmers across the state are throwing their support behind those affected,” NSW Minister for Primary Industries Katrina Hodgkinson said.

“We have already had calls of support from country NSW offering hay and grain to those left with little or nothing on their properties following the fires.

“At this point authorities estimate some 10,000 stock, mostly sheep, have perished or have had to be put down.

“In the worst cases properties have been left without a blade of grass to feed livestock.”

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