Minister backflips on mouse plague assistance
I’ve been calling on the NSW Government to provide assistance to tackle the mouse plague for months now, I’ve written to, I’ve spoken to and asked questions of the Agriculture Minister in Parliament. I’ve gone on radio, TV and the newspaper alongside many Mayors, Farmers, Business people and locals calling for action from the NSW Government.
Last week I hosted the Country Women’s Association and NSW Farmers at Parliament House to give a mouse plague briefing – everyone in Parliament received an invitation to attend. The Agriculture Minister said he’d be there. But then failed to attend and called the event a ‘stunt’. On Tuesday (11 May) the Minister said “you could throw billions of dollars at this in rebates and it doesn’t actually make one iota of difference”. Come Thursday (13 May) the NSW Government announces a ‘$50 million package to offer farmers, households and small businesses assistance to battle the mice plague’.
The package includes the following:
- Households who are eligible will be able to claim rebates of up to $500 for baits purchased.
- Small businesses that are eligible will be able to claim a rebate of up to $1,000 for baits purchased.
- Free bait preparation sites will be set up to allow broadacre farmers to treat grain for use as mouse bait.
With anything the Government does on the fly there are no details on how it will roll out these rebates, what the application process is, or even a start date.
They have published a website - but it contains no actual information about accessing the rebates.