Adam Marshall announces emergency fodder points in the Northern Tablelands

FOREVER GRATEFUL: Tim Booth at the Walcha Racecourse this afternoon. His parents Neil and Sandra from Georges Junction lost 10,000 acres, all their sheds and the 100 year-old family homestead.
FOREVER GRATEFUL: Tim Booth at the Walcha Racecourse this afternoon. His parents Neil and Sandra from Georges Junction lost 10,000 acres, all their sheds and the 100 year-old family homestead.

An emergency fodder drop is now operational at Glen Innes Showground, supplying feed for livestock on bushfire affected properties free of charge.

The NSW Government is expanding its assistance measures to support farmers and landholders affected by fires on the North Coast and Northern Tablelands regions.

Earlier today Agriculture Minister Adam Marshall urged landholders to act early and contact the Agriculture and Animal Services Hotline on 1800 814 647 to access a range of support in this difficult time.

"It's heartbreaking to see our farmers, who are already suffering through drought, to now have to deal with these terrible fires decimating their land, stock and fences," Mr Marshall said.

"In response, we're establishing fodder distribution points and dramatically increasing the number of boots on the ground to help.

"Fences and infrastructure can be rebuilt, but lives cannot, so I urge everyone in fire-affected areas to have a plan and act as soon as possible."

In the Northern Tablelands emergency fodder distribution points are operating at Glen Innes and Walcha, and in the Coffs Harbour region services are available at Grafton, Kempsey and Macksville.

Additional fodder points will be established across the State over the coming days.

NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) and Local Land Services officers are assisting landholders in northern NSW to manage animal welfare-related issues and provide assistance to farmers, which includes: free emergency fodder and stock water; animal assessment and veterinary assistance; stock euthanasia and burial; livestock feeding and management advice; and care of animals in evacuation centres.

Mr Marshall said a huge number of requests were being made for support with livestock welfare.

"We are experiencing a high demand for support, and we're expecting that to increase as more people are able to access their properties as they are deemed safe to re-enter," he said.

"We've already had up to 1800 animals in care at more than 20 livestock evacuation centres across the state, and more than 170 staff are now engaged in the effort."

At the Walcha Race Course today about six people visited to collect 40 bales of hay with 16 on order. Three days of emergency feed is available and is calculated on the number of head of stock at the rate of 15 kilos of hay per head.

We're all right compared to some -there are many more a lot worse off than us, and people have lost their lives

Tim Booth

Tim Booth's parents Neil and Sandra from Georges Junction lost 10,000 acres, all their sheds and the 100-year-old family homestead. The grazing land Tim is leasing was also decimated.

"I've got about 100 cows, and calves and the old man he's got 300 cows and calves and I think he is intensively feeding about 200 of those," Mr Booth said.

"If we didn't have this I'd hate to see where we'd be at - you don't know how happy we are to have this.

"These guys have been real good - it's especially good to be able to come here and just tell them how many head of stock you have. Once you ring that 1800 number and register online, you just come here and load up - it's pretty simple. I reckon the LLS is doing an unreal job and how easy it is really surprised me."

Mr Booth said the fire had disrupted the movement of stock and feeding, and once the emergency feed is gone, they will go back to buying fodder.

"We're all right compared to some," he said.

"There are many more a lot worse off than us, and people have lost their lives."

For information on personal hardship and distress assistance, contact the Disaster Welfare Assistance Line on 1800 018 444.

Further information on disaster assistance is available on the Australian Government's Disaster Assist website at www.disasterassist.gov.au and the NSW emergency information and response website at www.emergency.nsw.gov.au

Fire danger ratings and up to date information on the fire situation in your area can be found at https://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/fire-information

Stay up to date on bushfires in your area through the RFS website and the 'Fires Near Me' app.

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