Stories of the drought’s vast impact and detailed ideas for drought support were delivered to politicians and policymakers during Namoi Unlimited’s advocacy trip to Canberra.
A delegation of business and community leaders led by Namoi Unlimited spent Thursday, October 24 at Parliament House. They presented 22 recommendations to address the current and future impact of drought, including:
- Additional funding for Councils in the Namoi region to provide economic stimulus.
- Extended existing Drought Loans to include small businesses who are reliant on agriculture.
- A stimulus package for water and pest infrastructure intended to be spent and constructed with local businesses.
The trip was organised and funded by Namoi Unlimited. Community representatives from the five-member councils were selected to represent their local government areas.
The group took part in eight briefings, including meetings with Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, Minister for Regional Services, Mark Coulton, Member for New England Barnaby Joyce, the Offices of Environment and Agriculture and representatives from the Regional Australia Institute.
Chairperson of Namoi Unlimited and Mayor of Gunnedah Shire Council Jamie Chaffey said, “the delegation was well received. The stories we shared and ideas we proposed will be beneficial in shaping drought policy and assistance both now and into the future.
“I’d like to thank our five community champions, Walcha grazier Jock Nivison, Tamworth farmer Kevin Tounge, Gunnedah businesswoman Juliana Mcarthur, Willow Tree contractor Noel Saunders and Gwydir Shire representative Josh McGregor, Managing Director of McGregor Gourlay.
“Our delegates went to Canberra armed with well-researched facts and figures on the drought’s impact. They spent considerable time and effort consulting with their communities and did an incredible job of advocating for additional drought support and recovery programs, said Cr Chaffey.