The NSW Government has today announced a $50 million package to offer farmers, households and small businesses assistance to battle the mice plague currently impacting parts of rural and regional NSW.
Deputy Premier John Barilaro and Minister for Agriculture Adam Marshall said free baiting, through free-of-charge grain treatment, would be made available to primary producers, while affected rural and town households and small businesses would be able to apply for rebates to help them meet the cost of purchasing mouse baits.
“We know the financial pressure this mice plague is putting on farmers and household budgets, we have heard the concerns of regional NSW and we are acting on it,” Mr Barilaro said.
“The NSW Government will establish grain treatment facilities at specified locations across rural and regional NSW for farmers to have their grain treated free of charge and we will provide rebates to small businesses and households through Service NSW to help meet the cost of buying bait.
“I am also forming an advisory committee to ensure everyone has access to expert advice, including the latest hot spots, health and food safety advice, information for vets and guidance for keeping children and animals safe.”
Under this package households will be able to apply for rebates of up to $500 and small businesses will be eligible to claim up to $1,000 through Service NSW.
The advisory committee will include representatives from the Department of Regional NSW, Local Land Services, Department of Primary Industries, Resilience NSW, NSW Health, Service NSW, NSW Food Authority, Office of Small Business Commissioner, the Office of Local Government and the CSIRO.
Mr Marshall said farmers would be able to have their grain treated free of charge to protect their hard-sown crops from vermin.
“Today’s announcement of free baits to treat grain almost completely removes the cost burden on our farmers and croppers and complements our popular workshops to arm farmers with the tools needed to build a mice-free fortress to protect their paddocks,” Mr Marshall said.
“I’ve seen first-hand the impact these rodents are having. They are a scourge on our agricultural production so we are giving landholders a fearsome suite of tools to manage mice.
“We’re making this as easy for farmers as we possibly can. No tedious rebate forms to fill out, just bring your grain to have the experts treat it free of charge.
“Free bait is better than any rebate for our farmers, who we continue to stand behind post drought, bushfires and floods.”
In addition to free grain treatment and expert workshops, the NSW Department of Primary Industries will also launch an unprecendented body of research to identify and potentially develop future tools to combat mice plagues, including biological controls.
For the latest information about the mice plague, eligibility, how rebates will be claimed as well as health advice, go to www.nsw.gov.au/mice.
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