Rebuilding our Agricultural Sector – Resowing and Restocking Grant Policy
The Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party believe that farming is critical to the economic, social and cultural development of our state.
Farmers have fed our growing population and have been at the forefront of this State’s development since its inception. They are stewards of the land, producers of our food and carers of our livestock. Farming is the lifeblood on which every Australian relies.
Farmers are on the brink with competing land uses, the migrating urban fringe, inner city politicians imposing restrictive legislation and bureaucratic red tape at every corner.
To add to these woes, the industry has been bearing the burden of the most crushing drought in living memory since 2017. In January 2020, the DPI declared that the entire State of NSW was drought affected, with vast areas of the State in drought or intense drought.
The industry cannot simply be expected to rebound from these events in the economic climate that we now face.
Government support programs do not go far enough and do not allow farmers to get back to doing what they do best – grow the food and fibre that we rely on.
The national cattle herd is at its lowest in almost 30 years and the sheep flock the lowest since 1904 (MLA). In NSW, the area planted to summer crops decreased by 76% in 2019–20 to a record low 101,000 hectares. Total summer crop production fell by 66% to a record low 343,000 tonnes in 2019–20. Estimated wheat production in 2019-20 is 69% below the 10-year average to 2018-19 (ABARES).
However, for the first time since 2017, many producers are in a position to seriously consider rebuilding depleted herds and flocks, and/or sowing a winter crop. Record prices for livestock and the level of debt farmers are carrying is making it incredibly hard for farmers to return to production. We need urgent support for farmers to restore farming enterprises to their productive state and the Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party has developed a proposal for a resowing and restocking grant program to address the current crisis.
The Shooters, Fishers and Farmers represent vast areas of NSW’s great agricultural regions and our constituents, and all farmers across NSW, deserve this support. We will advocate strongly for the introduction of the resowing and restocking grant program to rebuild the agricultural industry to the great pillar of our state that it should be.