Thursday 18th Aug, 2022

NSW funds battle against mouse plague

Four grain storage expansion projects have been completed as part of the CBH Group’s upgrade to its network, adding additional capacity for 446,000 tonnes.

The New South Wales Government will provide a $50 million package for farmers, households, and businesses to combat the mouse plague.

Free baiting, through free-of-charge grain treatment, will be made available to primary producers, while affected rural and town households and small businesses will be able to apply for rebates to help them meet the cost of purchasing mouse baits.

The NSW Department of Primary Industries will also launch an unprecedented body of research to identify and potentially develop future tools to combat mice plagues, including biological controls.

As part of the package, households will be able to apply for rebates of up to $500 and small businesses will be eligible to claim up to $1000 through Service NSW.

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Deputy Premier John Barilaro said the NSW Government will establish grain treatment facilities at specified locations across rural and regional NSW for farmers to have their grain treated free of charge and we will provide rebates to small businesses and households through Service NSW to help meet the cost of buying bait.

“We know the financial pressure this mice plague is putting on farmers and household budgets, we have heard the concerns of regional NSW and we are acting on it,” Barilaro said.

“I am also forming an advisory committee to ensure everyone has access to expert advice, including the latest hot spots, health and food safety advice, information for vets and guidance for keeping children and animals safe.”

The advisory committee will include representatives from the Department of Regional NSW, Local Land Services, Department of Primary Industries, NSW Health, Service NSW, NSW Food Authority, Office of Small Business Commissioner, the Office of Local Government and the CSIRO.

NSW Agriculture Minister Adam Marshall said farmers would be able to have their grain treated free of charge to protect their hard-sown crops from vermin.

“Today’s announcement of free baits to treat grain almost completely removes the cost burden on our farmers and croppers and complements our popular workshops to arm farmers with the tools needed to build a mice-free fortress to protect their paddocks,” Marshall said.

“I’ve seen first-hand the impact these rodents are having. They are a scourge on our agricultural production so we are giving landholders a fearsome suite of tools to manage mice.

“We’re making this as easy for farmers as we possibly can. No tedious rebate forms to fill out, just bring your grain to have the experts treat it free of charge.”