Feds must not cut NSW NRM funding

MEDIA RELEASE – 29 April 2014landcare-australia

The Greens NSW spokesperson on agriculture Jeremy Buckingham today called on the Federal Government not to slash the over $128 million in Natural Resource Management funding which underpins the NSW Local Land Services model in the upcoming budget.

“It is clear from the recently released Commission of Audit that the Abbott Government is in a mood to slash funding to rural Australia, with deep cuts recommended to Landcare, research and development programs and the Rural Financial Counselling Service,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

“These cuts would put at risk the NSW Government’s Local Land Services model which is underpinned by over $128 million in Federal funding through the Caring for Our Country and Landcare schemes.

“NSW is the only state that does not have a four year guarantee of funding for Natural Resource Management and I am extremely concerned that the Abbott Government will take the axe to NSW’s funding in the upcoming budget.

“The Minister should seek immediate assurances from Barnaby Joyce that he will not cut rural and regional funding.

“We know that funding for Natural Resource Management and research and development has a huge multiplier effect in terms of attracting dollars and landholder participation and this should not be put at risk for the sake of short term savings.

“We know for example that for every dollar invested in base-level Landcare support by Southern New England Landcare the network has leveraged $18 worth of grants, sponsorship and contributions from participants.

“Farmers and landholders have already seen a huge reduction in rural service delivery under the NSW government, and the failure of Local Land Services will not be taken lightly in rural NSW.”

Contact: Max Phillips – 9230 2202 or 0419 444 916

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