Emergency fodder distribution will wind back at Wingham Showground this weekend

Livestock producers who have been impacted by bush fires on the Mid Coast have accessed emergency fodder at the Wingham Showground over the past couple of weeks.
Livestock producers who have been impacted by bush fires on the Mid Coast have accessed emergency fodder at the Wingham Showground over the past couple of weeks.

Emergency fodder distribution at Wingham Showground will wind back operations after this weekend.

A significant amount of emergency fodder has been distributed to primary producers across the MidCoast district since the fire emergency began in early November.

NSW Local Land Services (LLS) and the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) established the emergency fodder distribution point to service the fire-affected grounds around Wingham and Taree, to provide emergency fodder in support of animal welfare needs in the critical initial stages of the emergency.

Incident controller Jamie Maddocks said Hunter LLS and DPI staff at the Wingham Showground have been working tirelessly to provide emergency fodder and stock water, animal assessment, stock euthanasia and burial, livestock feeding and management advice and care of animals in evacuation centres.

"We are also very thankful to the army of local volunteers and community groups that have assisted us with unloading thousands of bales of hay, and supporting fire affected landholders with everything from a cup of tea and a hug, to essential supplies for their families," Jamie said.

"As the fodder distribution point winds back operations, support for impacted primary producers and communities will continue as long-term recovery support commences."

The Wingham site will still be open on Saturday and Sunday, November 30-December 1, from 8.30am-4.30pm.

After that support will continue to be provided through the Agriculture and Animal Services Hotline on 1800 814 647, and producers needs will continue to be assessed on a case by case basis.

"NSW DPI Rural Resilience officers are also available to support to fire affected primary producers. The Rural Resilience team work with primary producers across regional and remote NSW, and are there to listen, learn and link rural communities, families and individuals with the most appropriate services and information."

Anyone wishing to contact the Rural Resilience team can call Jen Haberecht on 0400 160 287 or visit the website https://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/about-us/rural-support/rural-resilience-program.

The Federal Government has announced a recovery package of $48.25 million, the largest bushfire disaster relief funding package recorded in NSW.

Eligible primary producers and small business on the Northern Tablelands, North Coast and Mid North Coast that were impacted by the recent NSW bushfires can apply for grants of up to $15,000 to assist with clean-up and the replacement of infrastructure, including repairing and replacing damaged fences, equipment and machinery.

To apply for a recovery grant, primary producers and small businesses should contact the NSW Rural Assistance Authority on 1800 678 593 or visit www.raa.nsw.gov.au

The Hunter and MidCoast region was in severe drought before the recent bush fires and unfortunately these difficult conditions continue.

The recent fires have fast-tracked the need for farmers to make tough decisions. If you need advice to help you make decisions about whether to feed or sell your livestock please contact the Hunter Local Land Services team for assistance on 1300 795 299.