Extra resources deployed to NSW fire zone

17 Jan 2013

Please note - This news release has now been archived and may contain outdated information.

The Department of Primary Industries (DPI) is deploying additional resources to assist the State’s farmers affected by widespread fires.

DPI Emergency Director Barry Kay said the DPI will be at the forefront of recovery efforts and will coordinate assistance measures for affected farmers.

"Our farmers are doing it tough at the moment, with many experiencing fire damage not seen before in living memory," Mr Kay said.

"With some farm businesses completely decimated by fires, farmers unfortunately face a long, bumpy road to recovery.

"The good news is that recovery efforts are now underway and a team of 40 staff, including rural support workers, DPI and Livestock Health and Pest Authority experts, have been deployed to help farmers get back on their feet.

"As part of recovery efforts, DPI will be working closely with community groups, support agencies, financial counsellors and other government agencies."

NSW Rural Assistance Authority (RAA) General Manager Steve Griffith said the NSW and Federal Governments have triggered Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements for a number of areas, making available a range of assistance measures for affected areas.

"Affected farmers and small businesses should contact the NSW Rural Assistance Authority on 1800 678 593 to obtain advice on assistance measures and their eligibility to receive loans," Mr Griffith said.

Mr Kay said the fires have taken a heavy toll on livestock industries across the State.

"Stock assessments are continuing and losses across the State have exceeded 12,000 head, which is mainly sheep and lambs," Mr Kay said.

"The fire west of Coonabarabran remains a major area of concern with some 42,000 hectares of farm land already burnt out.

"Assessment teams have now gained access to the fire zone and have started the grim task of assessing bushfire stock losses.Hundreds of sheep and cattle are expected to be lost."

Where to get help:

Media contact: Steve Green 6391 3686 or 0427 192 658