Farmers across NSW are set to receive government grants towards building cattle underpasses, to ensure livestock can safely move between paddocks separated by a state road.
The NSW Government has committed up to $3 million in grants for farmers, to build cattle underpasses and install warning signs and flashing lights, to help ensure safety for producers and motorists.
Minister for Primary Industries, Niall Blair said the investment delivers on a commitment between the NSW Liberals and Nationals as part of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the NSW Farmers’ Association to develop an underpass scheme to improve farm and road safety.
“Underpasses will remove the need for cattle to cross country roads, improving safety for livestock owners, their employees and motorists,” said Niall.
“This initiative, funded by the Department of Primary Industries (DPI), would be particularly beneficial to dairy producers who need to move stock across roads to milking facilities every day.
“In the last financial year, NSW milk production was worth $559 million to the state’s economy, reflecting the strength and resilience of the industry which is still managing the challenges of low prices for dairy products as well as facing the current drought conditions.”
Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight, Melinda Pavey said the NSW Government will offer grants for 50 percent of the cost of installing an underpass, up to $70,000.
“Farmers can also access optional grants of up to $10,000 to help cover the cost of installing warning signs and flashing lights,” said Melinda.
Member for Lismore, Thomas George said along with the productivity boost for producers, the scheme would reduce hazards for motorists. “Underpasses will reduce the risk of road collisions, traffic delays and road surface damage,” said Thomas.
“Each underpass will be built primarily for the movement of livestock with permission from Roads and Maritime Services.”
CEO of NSW Farmers, Matt Brand said the association has advocated for an underpass scheme for NSW for a number of years and is very pleased to see this come to fruition. “We have seen a similar successful scheme run in Victoria and are delighted that NSW has followed suit,” said Matt.
“The underpass scheme acknowledges the importance of improved farm productivity, increased animal welfare and better safety for motorists.
“We encourage all cattle farmers to utilise this scheme to help improve the productivity of their business and animal welfare.”
Applications for grants close on 31st October 2018 and will be considered in the order in which they are received. Every application received will be assessed against eligibility criteria listed in the Cattle Underpass Scheme guidelines. More information about eligibility and application requirements is available from https://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/cups.