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AU: Cherry growers refused government support

Cherry growers in the Orange and Young districts who lost up to 90%of their crops to heavy rain have, up to now, been refused government assistance.

The new South Wales Cherry grower's Association says many many growers did not harvest at all, but they have been told they don't meet the criteria for receiving income support.

The president Scott Coupland says it is going to be a tough 12 months for many growers.

"They're not earning any income at all," he said.

"A lot of growers have to wait till sort of, basically next Christmas until they're going to put some form of income on the table.

"So some form of income support, you know a lot of growers would be quite happy to get that.

"I guess the industry itself is open to sitting down with governments, sort of saying well what can we do for each other to help and assist each other and get through this period."

He says that he is surprised that federal agriculture minister, Joe Ludwig, does not think the growers are in need of some type of compensation.

"He thought that the crops throughout New South Wales were still a very good crop and that growers were making money.

"Unfortunately he never really looked or investigated into the situation any further there and I often wonder now with governments, especially when they're talking about budgets.

"Do we really count?"

He says the Association has written a letter to the state authorities asking for the matter to be reconsidered.

Source: www.abc.net.au

Publication date: 5/3/2012


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