Official Media Release

Even More Drought Support for Families in Upper Hunter Electorate

Michael Johnsen MP, Nationals Member for Upper Hunter and Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture, today announced that families will have even more support during the State’s worst drought on record, with a further round of funding for Early Childhood Education services announced today as part of a $755 million boost to the NSW Liberal & National Government’s drought support package.

Mr Johnsen said a further $5.2 million will be invested to support preschools and long day care centres in drought-affected areas in the Upper Hunter Electorate.

“This is the first time that the Nationals in Government are expanding the Drought Relief funding to our long day care centres as well as our local community preschools, because we know the drought doesn’t discriminate based on the type of service a child attends – everyone is feeling the impact of the drought,” Mr Johnsen said.

“The program will help ease the financial burden of the drought on young families, whilst also ensuring participation in a preschool program is maintained.

“Early childhood services in the Upper Hunter Electorate can use this funding to assist families and children in a range of ways, including travel arrangements to maintain participation in early childhood education, crisis planning or fee subsidies to further support families.

In his role as Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture, Mr Johnsen noted that the program was part of the Government’s latest drought assistance package, designed to alleviate the sting of drought on farmers and regional communities.

“Across the State our farmers and regional communities are experiencing one of the worst droughts in living memory. That’s why the NSW Government has delivered a $755 million drought assistance package to help support our rural communities through these difficult times,” Mr Johnsen said.

“We know that the drought not only impacts farmers but also regional communities as a whole, and that’s why we’ve delivered a holistic package that also provides much needed support to our local businesses and services.

“Travelling around the Electorate this week I’ve seen firsthand just how tough our rural communities are doing it. While the best package is rain I’m confident these measures will provide some much needed reprieve,” Mr Johnsen concluded.

For more information on the Government’s Drought Support Package, visit www.droughthub.nsw.gov.au