Camden Council to investigate more ways to help drought-stricken farmers

Photo: Janie Barrett
Photo: Janie Barrett

As local farmers struggle through one of the state’s longest droughts, Camden Council want to find a way to make their lives a little easier.

The council will investigate rate initiatives that could be activated when the area is declared to be in drought.

Camden mayor Lara Symkowiak raised the issue at Tuesday’s council meeting. 

She wanted council staff to investigate interest free rate payment plans, allowing farmland rating levels to apply even if stock numbers fall below qualification thresholds during drought as well as any other alternatives available.

“I’m sure there are other options out there but I want us to look at what we could be doing as an organisation to support our primary producers,” Cr Symkowiak said.

“We need to look at what we can do to support those in the most need.”

Councillor Peter Sidgreaves praised the idea.

“We need to get behind our local farmers and these are just some of the ways that we can do that,” he said.

“If there are more ways that we can do something to help then we should try to do that as well.”

Councillor Cindy Cagney said she “wholeheartedly supported” the idea.

“It’s amazing just driving around seeing the noticeable difference the drought has made,” she said.

“If there are any other ways that we can support our farmers, that would be great.”

The report is expected to be presented within the next two council meetings.

There are a number of groups raising funds to support local farmers and two drought drives in the Macarthur area.

Residents can donate to the Rotary Club of Narellan Farmer Support Drive via direct debit at: Rotary Club of Narellan Community Trust Gi, BSB: 032-710,  Account Number: 227847. 

People can also support Dilly Drought Drive, auspiced by the Lions Club of Tahmoor, via direct debit at: Lions Club of Tahmoor, BSB: 633 000, Account Number: 157928458.