NSW Farmers' and the Country Women's Association of NSW united in Sydney this week at Parliament House to call on the government to implement a financial support package, providing up to $25,000 per farm business to subsidise 50 per cent of the cost of mouse bait products.
They've told Parliament that as the mouse plague continues to spread across NSW, farmers are already feeling the impacts with damage and contamination to last season's winter crop as well as fodder stored on farm.
Damage to agricultural machinery and infrastructure has also been reported.
Preliminary results of a survey conducted by NSW Farmers of 1300 primary producers found that 94pc of farmers had to bait for mice, with 45pc starting in 2020.
"Reports show that the impacts are similar to other natural disaster such as drought, and are escalated by the cumulative effect of recent drought, bushfires and flood events," the NSW Farmers' survey said.
Barmedman farmer Lisa Minogue said she did 38 loads of washing in three days due to the mouse plague.
"The smell is horrific, you can pick up all the mice you see but there is always more," Ms Minogue said.
"My house is pretty much packed up in boxes."
Country Women's Association of NSW CEO Danica Leys said the seriousness of this issue needed to be acknowledged by the State Government as the economic and public health crisis it's become.
"It's time for urgent action to support the rural and regional communities that are suffering through this plague and we're urging the government to implement a plan that tackles this crisis on all fronts, from funding towards eradication costs to an increased focus on research that can help avoid these plagues in the future," Ms Leys said.
The NSW Government has announced a new series of mice management workshops for farmers where Australia's leading mice expert Steve Henry from the CSIRO will provide in person advice to landholders.
The workshops are on at:
- Condobolin 19 May 12 - 2pm Condobolin Research Station
- Lake Cargelligo 19 May 5:30 - 7:30pm Lake Cargelligo Boat Club
- West Wyalong 21 May 11:30am - 1:30pm West Wyalong Services Club
Or you can go online to https://fal.cn/3fd9X to register for a webinar on Friday.
More information online at www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/mice