LGNSW calls for drought support structure

Local Government New South Wales (LGNSW) has called for the State Government to form a structure system for drought relief to better target and support communities affected by the ongoing drought.

The announcement comes after 100 issues were scheduled for debate NSW councils at the sector’s annual policy-setting conference in Albury earlier this month.

Local Government NSW President Linda Scott said the first motion for debate - submitted by Bourke Shire Council - called for a clear mechanism for drought declaration, a common definition of drought applicable to all areas, and transparent criteria for assistance to farmers and small businesses.

“These three critical issues have a very real impact on how we as a nation and a state manage drought,” Clr Scott said.

“There is ongoing debate about what constitutes drought and what assistance should be provided, and too often that debate results in the assistance arriving far too late to be effective.”

Clr Scott said Bourke Shire was just one of the many councils submitting drought-related motions, including Gunnedah, Warren, Wollondilly, Bland and Lachlan Shires, and Coffs Harbour City Council.

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