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The NSW Government’s 2021-22 Budget has committed $1 billion in recurrent and new spending to go towards farmers and $862 million to support sustainable and healthy water resources alongside various other commitments. 

Agriculture funding 

NSW Minister for Agriculture, Adam Marshall, said that after drought, bushfires, floods and mice, the agricultural industry can now focus on producing the best food and fibre in the world, backed by significant investments in the NSW Budget. 

“In our 2021-22 Budget there is more than $1 billion in recurrent and new spending to allow farmers to focus on farming while we support them through innovation, improved biosecurity and building resilience,” Mr Marshall said. 

“We’re also investing to restart the Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate Scheme, which will headline our future preparedness program, along with many more initiatives and investments.”

Mr Marshall said that technology continues to play an increasingly important role on-farm, and $19 million of funding will ensure the continued upskilling and training of current and future farmers. 

“Through the 2021-22 Budget, this Government is delivering the right support and protection we need for primary industries right now, while looking to the future to ensure we have sustainable, profitable industries for generations to come,” Mr Marshall said. 

“We are committed to growing our ag industry to be worth $30 billion by 2030, and research and development, and innovation are the keys to our success in achieving that goal.”

Key agriculture investments:

  • $1 billion in recurrent and new spending to farmers
  • $374.5 million (included in the $1 billion) towards productivity, sustainable agriculture and aquaculture, enhancing the productivity of plant and livestock farming systems
  • $19 million for upskilling and training farmers
  • $64 million for the ‘Future Ready Regions’ strategy that will help farmers grow, thrive and plan for the future 
  • $150 million for regional communities to tackle the mice plague
  • $72.5 million to help primary industries recover from floods 
  • $38.2 million in drought preparedness 
  • $262 million in biosecurity, including pest and weed management, to knock down threats to primary industries

Water resources funding 

The NSW Budget has invested $862 million in supporting sustainable, secure and healthy water resources across the state. 

Minister for Water, Property and Housing, Melinda Pavey, said preparing now for future droughts must be a priority, and the budget will help the Government deliver on a sustainable, secure and healthy water sector for all. 

“While much of NSW is officially out of drought, we cannot be complacent. We must prepare our state now for potentially more severe dry spells in the future,” Mrs Pavey said. 

“For the first time in decades we are building dams on top of investing in other water infrastructure that will provide water security for our cities and towns, and protect our agricultural sector during drought. 

“These strategies will set the direction for water policy, planning and infrastructure decisions for the next 20 years, putting water security and drought resilience on the same footing as other vital services, like transport and health.”

Mrs Pavey said funding had also been committed to fighting water losses in regional areas where water infrastructure may be aging or under pressure due to higher populations. 

“By acting now to repair infrastructure and improve efficiencies, we can save regional communities the much bigger cost of replacing or augmenting water treatment plants and pipes,” Mrs Pavey said. 

“This commitment, along with others in the budget, supports water users, communities and the environment across NSW now and for generations to come.”

Key water resources investments:

  • $245 million to address water security across Regional NSW
  • Development of business cases and early planning for dams in the Lachlan Valley, Peel Valley and Border Rivers Regions
  • Included in the $245 million – Lostock Dam to Glennie’s Dam pipeline 
  • $20 million to ensure work can continue on the rollout of 12 Regional Water Strategies, the first ever NSW Water Strategy and Aboriginal Water Strategy 
  • $12.5 million over three years on a regional program to help local water utilities fix leaks across their networks
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