Cootamundra’s Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party’s candidate has called for more subsidies for farmers to cope with drought.
Matthew Stadtmiller, who will represent the party for the March 2019 state election, visited on Monday to “call out” Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke.
Mr Stadtmiller criticised the Nationals for “failing to acknowledge there was a drought in NSW”.
“We’d like them to actually acknowledge there is a drought and that farmers are struggling,” he said.
“Ten kilometres outside of Cootamundra, my own relatives’ farm, they’re feeding thousands of sheep at the moment and it’s costing them $2000 a week and Steph Cooke’s mentioned the drought once in parliament, it’s not good enough.”
Mr Stadtmiller contrasted that with his Shooters party colleague, Member for Orange Phil Donato, who he said had started a call for subsidies, made four speeches and questioned government ministers in state parliament. He also criticised the state government’s offer of loans.
“That’s just sending families under financial stress further into debt,” Mr Stadtmiller said.
“We don’t want to lump farmers with more debt, we want subsidies where they can have fodder brought to their property or they can have transport stock off a property if they can’t support that stock anymore.
“Even if the loan isn’t recalled for two years, that’s just making the impact of the drought resonate for years to come – long after the rains and fodder have returned.”
Mr Stadtmiller claimed the drought was one of the worst since 1982.
“Farmers are going to do what they can to drought proof their properties, but this is more of a natural disaster, all across the state farmers are suffering
“We’re heading towards 90 per cent of the state being drought declared and 40 per cent of the state is already in drought. As a state, as a whole, we need to do the best thing we can by the people who are feeding us.”