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Sunday, June 20, 2021

$100 million for famers impacted by mice

Upper Hunter MP David Layzell is encouraging primary producers experiencing financial hardship due to the mice plague to apply for rebates for the purchase of critical control chemical zinc phosphide.

His electorate, just one of many regions in the state, has been battling the devastating wave of rodents in recent months.

The new NSW Government funding will offer primary producers in the Upper Hunter economic relief by offering a rebate of 50% on zinc phosphide purchases, up to $10,000, to help cash flow and confidence to place advance orders ahead of spring.

“Communities in my electorate have done it tough off the back of drought, bushfires, floods and COVID-19 and the last thing we needed was these vermin terrorising us in our sleep and destroying crops,” Mr Layzell said.

“The government is building a safer and stronger regional NSW and these rebates are part of our commitment to supporting our agriculture sector which gives so much to this state.”

NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro said the NSW Government was working with manufacturers to shore up supplies of zinc phosphide to ensure the state’s farmers were prepared to stamp out a possible spring surge in the mouse population.

“When the mouse bait and treated grain programs were announced I said there would be more support to come,” he stated.

“So, I’m pleased to confirm we will extend the program to include primary producer rebates for zinc phosphide.

“It is already a tax deductible expense for primary producers and while many are now seeing more promising business activity following the drought, I know the mice plague is stinging the hip pocket, which is why we are providing this rebate.

“We are working to help guarantee that there will be a supply of zinc phosphide active ingredient by investing $5 million to assist with the costs of transporting it to Australia.

“We’ll make sure any baits produced with zinc phosphide are earmarked for sale to NSW producers first.

“And, we’ll continue to work to connect manufacturers with Commonwealth support such as the International Freight Assistance Mechanism.”

The Department of Regional NSW will work with industry stakeholders, like NSW Farmers, to develop the zinc phosphide rebate framework, including how primary producers will be able to claim the rebate and the eligibility criteria.

“The $100 million primary producer zinc phosphide rebate scheme is in addition to the $50 million package designed for households and small businesses announced last month,” Mr Layzell said.

“Primary producers who live where they work are already able to claim rebates of up to $1,000 for mouse bait, traps and cleaning products used to protect their homes.”

Grain treatment with bromadiolone for perimeter baiting is awaiting approval from the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority.

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