Deniliquin Pastoral Times
Council suspends its drought program
Edward River Council’s Drought Relief program, introduced in September of 2018, has come to an end.
It has been prompted by decent rainfall over the past few months, which has resulted in NSW and the Riverina region no longer being considered as being in drought.
The relief program offered eligible landholders access to council’s water reserves, at the cost of delivery only.
Council agreed at its August meeting to end the program, but said it could be introduced again if support is needed.
‘‘Hopefully the next dry period will be in the distant future,’’ Mayor Norm Brennan said.
‘‘I think these drought funding programs have been an enormous help in keeping agriculture people in a position where they can come out of the drought in a better situation.
‘‘When you look at the stats for Deniliquin, in March we had four inches of rain, April four inches, May four inches, June two inches and so far this month I think I have recorded 63mm, so two and a quarter inches.
‘‘We have had a lot of rain compared to what we have had over the previous two to three years, which is fantastic news to those in the agricultural industry and our community.’’
The relief program was introduced 2018, and was extended by the council February last year.
General manager Phil Stone said through the program, council was able to support many local farmers.
‘‘Between October of 2018 and July of 2020, council donated 14 megalitres of water to Edward River Council ratepayers, which was worth about $112,600.
‘‘We donated the water and wore the loss cost. All the farmers had to do was pay the freight.’’
Since the beginning of 2020, the Bureau of Meteorology has recorded 342.2mm of rain at its Deniliquin airport weather station. in in