NSW Department of Primary Industries Drought hub web page scrutinised and criticised by one user

The NSW Department of Primary Industries Drought hub Web page is the go-to Web page for all things drought related including Federal Assistance.

Sounds good, and when you get passed been told how wonderful it is by the page itself, you find that the content does not live up to the hype.

It becomes very  clear, if you expand and fully read each topic that  the Web page is designed to confuse, frustrate and deter any action by the reader. Requirements for certain types of assistance are either vague or so restrictive that very few would fit the criteria.

The Drought Mapping section is by its own admission inadequate. See: NSW  State Seasonal Update-April 2018 NSW Overview paragraph four. By the way, we are told there are five stages of Drought and the technical reasons why. Information technology gone mad it seems. 

Prior to 2014, we were either in drought-declared areas or we weren't, simple. There was a clear-cut evidence of Drought status now there is not. Also is the source of all this weather data from the same place that  predicted above average rainfall in the first half of 2018? I hope not, because they  got that very wrong.

That Drought is no longer a natural disaster, but flood  and bushfire are, makes no logical sense. Sure, we can plan to lessen the effects of all three, by planning ahead and not building and populating flood zones, but all three have consequences  beyond any individuals  control and should be treated as such. Being told we have been reliant on emergency response for drought is insulting at best.

Governments both State and Federal have decided it appears, that the votes aren't in supporting grass root farmers, that is what you conclude from reading the content of Droughthub. Policy makers please take notice.

The push seems to be, to encourage a struggling primary producer to go further into debt by taking out a loan to solve drought problems, if so, that makes no sense.

Or applying for Federal controlled Farm Household assistance, that in reality requires  so many hoops to be jumped through, it is demoralizing in the extreme.

The time frame to be assessed after you have submitted all the abundant in-depth required financial paper work  is currently  49 plus days. The Department of Human Services that handles these submissions I assume is overwhelmed, unable and under-staffed to cope.

One part of the content of the Web page refers you to Farm Management Deposits.

I was shocked to find that you could have a maximum of $800,000.00 at any given time in Deposits. This seems to me to be extreme, and has you thinking that corporate large scale enterprises  have the ear of policymakers, at the expense of the average to smaller farmers.

I strongly urge people to fully read the Drought hub content. Personally it comes across as a lot of political speak and insulting the readers intelligence. On the surface offering informative advice, but  in reality delivering  very  little practical help.

After reading the Droughthub Web page in depth, you will no doubt need to access the well-being section, such will be your mental state of frustration.

Both  levels  of Government are seriously letting down rural and remote Australia, we are very much deemed  second class citizens, across a wide range, health, services, communications and education to mention an important few. The latest Federal Budget  gave no encouragement  to fix the disparity. The term divide and conquer comes to mind.  For the record I am not a member of any political Party.

Penelope Henley