APAL welcomes NSW Government funding for bushfire recovery

Australia’s peak apple and pear industry body, APAL, has welcomed the NSW Government’s announcement of funding to support growers and their communities rebuild following the devastating summer fires.

The NSW Government’s Bushfire Industry Recovery Package, provides Supply Chain Support Grants of up to $120,000 per hectare for impacted apple growers to meet the costs of clean up and replacing trees, trellises and netting.

The package also offers Bushfire Sector Development Grants of up to $10 million each to support initiatives that include building industry productivity, sustainability and growth.

APAL CEO Phil Turnbull said the NSW Government’s announcement reflected many of the ideas and recommendations put forward by APAL in its ‘Build Back Better: Apple Industry Bushfire Recovery Program’.

“With assistance from our local growers we were able to present a five-year recovery plan to the Federal and State Governments,” said Mr Turnbull.

The Plan confirmed the fires caused more than $70 million damage for the apple industry in Batlow, Bilpin in NSW and the Adelaide Hills in SA. It also proposes a road map to rebuild a stronger and more resilient apple industry in these iconic apple growing regions.

“We know it’s a going to be a long and difficult road to recovery, and this package delivers welcome assistance for these communities as they start this journey.”

“Since the fires we have had access to the highest levels of government including meetings with the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, Deputy Premier of NSW and Minister for Agriculture. These discussions have been invaluable to setting out the needs and priorities for growers and the industry in the regions devastated by the summer fires.”

With NSW Government funding secured, APAL is awaiting release of the guidelines for the Federal Government’s recently announced bushfire funding package.

“We encourage the Federal Government to contribute so our industry can complete the five-year recovery plan,” said Mr Turnbull.

To assist eligible growers to apply for the grant funding by the 12 June 2020 deadline, APAL will host an online meeting on Tuesday 26 May 2020 from 10am.

The meeting will assist growers understand the process and information they will need to provide to complete their application using the online forms.

Source: APAL