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‘Farmers need that mental support’: Mayor says farmers deserve more than money

Farmers are trying to nurse their sheep and cattle through drought as their properties run out of grass.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced the government would allocate an extra $190 million to help our drought-stricken farmers with cost of living expenses.

Under the package, farmers on the Farm Household Allowance will have access to emergency payments up to $12,000 and the eligibility criteria for the allowance will also be relaxed.

Funding will also go towards rural financial counselors and mental health support.

Parkes Mayor Ken Keith tells Chris Smith he’s pleased “government are now showing that they are caring about what’s happening in rural areas”.

“That’s as important as the actual dollars.

“Farmers need that mental support at the moment.”

Click PLAY below to hear the full interview 

Last month Chris spoke to Laura Jones, a sheep farmer in the northwestern New South Wales town of Goolhi.

She was on the verge of having to kill hundreds of her sheep.

Since sharing her story, she says “the public has absolutely been a godsend”.

“But Chris, this is only going to be temporary. We need a long-term strategy on how to fix this problem.”

Laura says the payments under the new plan would be staggered and after the first $6,000 farmers would need to wait another six months until the next installment.

“I don’t understand. It’s ridiculous.

“These things are being thrown out on the fly and the $12,000 for the farmers to dive into… they haven’t even put pen to paper.”

Click PLAY below to hear the full interview with Laura

Donate to The Big Dry Drought Appeal HERE

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