- Eligible households and businesses can submit receipts for bait purchased back to February
- In the case of joint businesses and residence on the same premise, rebate up to $1000 applies
Regional Australia has taken a battering over the past few years, with droughts, floods and terrible bush fires, then the pandemic. Now, eastern states’ farmers have to deal with an infestation of mice, ironically caused by better growing conditions and a bumper crop.
The New South Wales Government has announced that regional households and small businesses impacted by the high numbers of mice will be able to backdate the rebates for purchasing mouse bait from February.
Households, small businesses and primary producers in Central Tablelands, Central West, Northern Tablelands, North West, Western, Riverina and Murray regions, along with selected Local Government Areas in Hunter and South East Local Land Service regions, are eligible for the mouse bait rebate.
When announcing the backdating of the scheme, Deputy Premier John Barilaro added that primary producers can claim a single rebate totalling up to $1000 in the case of their business and residence being located on the same premise.
“By extending the eligibility period back to February it will hopefully take some pressure off regional communities who are battling these rodents.”
“Farmers and regional small businesses often live where they work, so it makes sense that they can apply for a rebate of up to $1000 to help meet the cost of buying bait.”
John Barilaro, Deputy Premier
Adam Marshall, the Minister for Agriculture, said the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority is yet to approve bromadiolone treated grain for perimeter baiting, which is being touted as another option for controlling the mice plague.
“Bromadiolone perimeter baiting is a second layer of defence on top of the doubled rate of zinc phosphide application,” Mr Marshall said.
“Soon farmers will be able to get their grain treated free of charge to protect their hard-sown crops from vermin.”
The NSW Farmers Association, however, say it is not enough.
“Farmers are abandoning some paddocks and cannot hold off winter crop sowing a moment longer and researchers warn that without a concerted baiting effort in the next few weeks this could easily turn into a two-year plague event,” said NSW Farmers Vice President Xavier Martin.
“NSW Farmers has consistently said the simplest, safest and most timely way for the State Government to assist farmers would be through providing rebates of up to $25,000 per farm business to cover 50% of the cost of zinc phosphide bait.”
Xavier Martin, NSW Farmers Vice President
Mr Martin fears without greater support from the Government, the mice could cause serious economic losses with a high chance the issue won’t be resolved come Christmas time.
“This mouse plague will be a significant financial hit to the NSW economy, as it is not just about the grain crop, and food production, but also all the regional businesses, traders and employees that rely on the farming sector. The NSW grains industry alone employs more than 10,000 people in regional areas.”