An application to declare the severe storm at Back Yamma and Cookamidgera late last year as a natural disaster has been approved.
On 13th December 2017 Central West Lachlan Landcare submitted an Agricultural Natural Disaster Assessment application for Back Yamma and Cookamidgera, in consultation with the Central West Local Land Services, to the Department of Primary Industries.
The intention of this assessment was to have the isolated hail incidents and flash flooding that saw many crops and infrastructure significantly impacted in November when they were on the verge of, or had commenced harvest, recognised as a natural disaster.
Due to this event being isolated to the Back Yamma and Cookamidgera areas, many in the surrounding districts did not receive the significant rain and hail events that were experienced in this area.
This declaration is an important step to allowing access, through application, to funding provided by the State Government.
This funding will potentially assist with preparations for 2018 sowing season.
The Department of Primary Industries has
approved the application, which will now allow for submissions from landholders impacted by the event, through the Rural Assistance Authority to access disaster relief loans and transport freight subsidies.
The Natural Disaster Relief Scheme assists primary producers affected by flood/ fire/storm damage or any other declared natural disaster. Assistance under this scheme by its nature is not compensatory therefore applicants need to be in urgent and genuine need of assistance.
Marg Applebee, Coordinator for Central West Lachlan Landcare said the BackYamma and Cookamidgera areas are not only picturesque, but also have some of the most fertile soils in the Parkes and Forbes Shire areas. “This funding will enable primary producers, some of whom suffered significant crop losses and other infrastructure losses, the ability to seek assistance to address immediate concerns and enable preparation for this year’s sowing season.”
Central West Lachlan Landcare are thankful for the assistance of landholders at a difficult time when harvest had commenced, the State Government through the Central West Local Land Services and Department of Primary Industries, appreciate the support from Member for Orange, Philip Donato and his willingness to meet with landholders to see the impact first hand after the event.
Philip met with affected landholders recently, Cr Neil Westcott and Cr Steven Karaitiana from Parkes and Forbes Shire Councils respectively, Alli Gartrell from the Rural Assistance Authority, President of Parkes and Forbes NSW Farmers, Gavin Tom and Marg Applebee to share the good news of the declaration.
For landholders seeking further details, information may be accessed through the Rural Assistance Authority website at www.raa.nsw.gov.au and are encouraged to contact Marg Applebee on 6862 4914 if assistance is required with applications submissions.