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25 June, 2021

100 million more

The NSW Government has announced an additional $100 million to support farmers battle the worsening mouse plague.

By Emily Middleton

Photo supplied via unsplash

Farmers will now be eligible for a 50 per cent rebate, up to $10,000, for zinc phosphide bait under the NSW government’s extension of its mouse plague assistance package.

The extension came after NSW Farmers and CWA of NSW representatives called on the state government to provide $25,000 rebates last month.

“The reason the government’s taking this action is based on new advice from the CSIRO indicating that this mouse plague could indeed be worse than anyone expected,” said agriculture minister Adam Marshall.

NSW Farmers vice president Xavier Martin said the announcement is an important step in helping farmers manage the costs associated with this major plague.

“The practical support measure of rebates for zinc phosphide was an initiative from NSW Farmers and we thank our many members for sharing their stories of the widespread impact of this plague,” said Mr Martin.

“Warnings from CSIRO and responses to a NSW Farmers survey on the plague indicate how dire this situation is. It’s the worst mouse plague for some time, and it could easily get worse without adequate intervention. There’s a need to make the rebates available immediately so farmers can control mouse numbers before spring.”

The Department of Regional NSW and the Rural Assistance Authority will develop the zinc phosphide rebate framework, including eligibility criteria and how primary producers will be able to claim the rebate.

“This funding is an important build on the $50 million already announced by the state government last month, which signified recognition of the problem but had some shortcomings in terms of practical benefits. NSW Farmers collaborated with the Country Women’s Association of NSW to highlight the stark need to respond to this crisis. It is promising to see the NSW Government listening to the bodies representing farmers and regional NSW on this issue.”

Mr Martin said the situation is ongoing and will require constant monitoring and flexibility in support measures for what could become the worst mouse plague NSW has ever seen.

“We look forward to working with government on behalf of our members and regional communities to hopefully ensure this plague is well under control before spring.”

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