FEDERAL Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce said widespread rainfalls across part of the Electorate as well as western NSW and south-west Queensland will go some way to easing concerns about the grip of the drought.
“It’s great to see we’ve had widespread rain, obviously the only cure for a drought in the end is rain,” Mr Joyce said.
“This is a good start, I’m glad to see we’ve had falls up to and around the two inches mark and I think there might be a bit more rain around still.
Mr Joyce hopes the rain will give beef prices and the cattle market a kick.
“A kick in cattle prices on the back of good sheep prices would be fantastic and hopefully if people have got a bit of in-crop rain will help finish off their wheat crops, which would have otherwise been for the high jump.”
Mr Joyce said there was still drought assistance available for farming families struggling with the extended dry.
“There’s still concessional money available and I’ve moved another $20 million into the NSW pot to deal with the issues of drought before us,” Mr Joyce said.
“There’s still access to $280 million at four per cent which will help farmers to re-stock and replant.
“I know that people want more, I don’t for one moment think that people have all they need.
“We’re trying to do as much as we can, and we can always improve the way we do it to help.
By 3.30pm on Monday Drake in the far north-east of the Electorate had recorded 38mm while Tamworth had 42mm and Mullaley in the south-west had recorded 26mm.
Other notable falls included Manilla, 30mm, Barraba, 29mm, Gunnedah, 30mm, Blackville, 20mm, Glen Innes, 30mm, Inverell, 36mm, and Werris Creek 37.
To the east of the New England Electorate in the Electorate of Parkes, Gravesend had 48mm, Coonabarabran, 42mm, Gwabegar, 42mm, Pallamallawa, 52mm, Walgett, 30mm, Wee Waa, 32, Pilliga, 54mm, Moree, 25mm and Krui Plains had 52mm.