Eden-Monaro is determined to put the challenges of 2020 behind us, but the hits just keep coming from Liberal – National Governments.
Late yesterday my office received news that the NSW State Government had rejected a funding application from the Batlow community.
Back in January, the Dunns Road Fire came right into the town. When I visited Batlow in May and again in August the impact was clear – you can see it in the landscape and on the face of local farmers.
Batlow fruit growers lost around 30,000 trees – a 30% hit to local production. Not to mention the netting, infrastructure and machinery that was also lost.
Far from giving up - the Batlow fruit growing community applied to the NSW Government’s Bushfire Industry Recovery Package.
Investment earmarked to grow and develop the Batlow economy and community - to kick start Batlow’s renewal.
One local industry leader who wrote to me yesterday said, “For Batlow not to receive any portion of the sector development funding is absurd – to not receive any assistance is to intentionally disregard what has happened.”
“To be left out completely when so many promises were made is another hefty kick to the economic wellbeing and future of Batlow.”
I trust that the NSW State Government hasn’t closed the door on Batlow, that it will look for ways to work with growers, business and community groups to do the right thing.
I know from previous Batlow Community Forums that the community is coming together – residents, farmers, community groups and local business all working together.
They are talking about their renewal and looking for opportunities and positive outcomes for their town following on from this disaster.
I will continue to work with the Batlow community to make sure they get their fair share.
As the community would say – “Do it for Batlow!”
Photo: At the famous Batlow Apples with Shadow Agriculture Minister Ed Husic.