DROUGHT-ravaged pastoralists in SA's north have been given a helping hand, the federal government agreeing to match state government funding for water infrastructure and wild dog management.
The federal government will provide $275,000 towards SA drought relief, matching the state contribution announced by SA Agriculture Minister Leon Bignell late last month. The funding will be delivered to pastoralists by Livestock SA.
Federal Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce also announced that drought-hit SA farmers would finally have access to drought concessional loans - already offered in NSW and Qld - with $10 million available to those in need.
Livestock SA northern region chairman Colin Greenfield, Billa Kalina Station via Roxby Downs, welcomed the extra funding announcement.
"It gives us more room to move with the state money." he said. "It was going to be pretty tight trying to divide just the state money amongst the people who would need it or apply for it.
"The priority will be the key water infrastructure that people haven't been able to spend money on because of a lack of available funds.
"The dog-control efforts will be split into two parts. North of the fence it will be targeting those areas where dog numbers are thick, and trying to knock them down before they move.
"Inside the fence it will be used to try and mop up some of the hotspots where producers are really struggling, particularly those sheep-producing areas, before they spread further or before they put some people out of sheep."
Livestock SA would do all it could to get funds to farmers as soon as possible.
"There's a couple of critical dog areas that need urgent help, and a couple of water areas where the difference between someone receiving some money or not could be the difference that sees them having to sell a load of cattle that they didn't want to," he said.
"We're hopeful that by August, applications will be in and some money can start to be flowing out. It can reimburse people from July 1, so people can be spending money now and put their application in when the forms come out."
* Full report in Stock Journal, July 10, 2014 issue. Like Stock Journal on Facebook