Feds pay for local drought officer

Farmers are doing it tough after a dry summer.
Farmers are doing it tough after a dry summer.

A new drought support officer has been hired for the Glen Innes area.

The $100,000 position was funded by the Drought Communities Fund, a Federal subsidy won by the Glen Innes Severn shire.

The fund also paid for new toilets, road resheeting, a new bike track and a water supply stand in Deepwater.

Ultimately the shire will receive a million dollars in federal subsidies.

The drought officer will work for the Glen Innes natural resources advisory committee (Glenrac).

With the assistance of the Drought Support Officer, GLENRAC will organise a number of events.

Two are already penciled in: a farmer update on April 17 and a men's night out on May 17.

The full time role will be shared between the two existing landcare coordinators, Kylie Falconer and Lucy Faithfull.

In a press release, Glenrac said they will be tasked with providing on the ground drought-support to farmers and families in the local community.

"One of their primary aims will be to raise awareness of the number of avenues of support available to families, including financial assistance through Drought Aid, the CWA of NSW, St Vincent's de Paul and the Salvation Army, and drought subsidies and loans available to farmers including the freight and water infrastructure rebates obtainable through the NSW Rural Assistance Authority," they said in a press release.

"The Drought Support Officer will assist community members with lodging these applications, a process that can be timely, requires access to council notices and tax invoices, and the scanning and uploading of documents online."

The officers will have regular weekly drop-in days at villages around the area, including Deepwater, Emmaville, Glencoe and Torrington.

Chairperson of GLENRAC, John Bavea, said it is important to make sure the funding helps both town and country.

"With this funding, GLENRAC is particularly charged with concentrating on the social and community impacts outside the Glen Innes town area in a manner that's going to provide economic stimulus to those within the town," he said.