BIG numbers of applications for drought assistance have flowed into the authorities just days after state and federal drought assistance packages were announced.
Landholders are now in a position where they have to assess what they are eligible for and how to access the funds. The overwhelming message, especially given lessons learned from previous droughts, is not to self assess.
After its policy group meeting in Melbourne last week GrainGrowers is leading the charge in telling people not to “self assess.” GrainGrowers chief executive officer David McKeon urges producers to check their eligibility for both the state and federal assistance.
- A fortnightly payment totalling around $16,000 a year to help farming families in tough times
- This will be will received in two additional lump sum payments on September, 1, 2018 and March, 1 2019
- Couples will receive up to an additional $12,000 and single households will receive up to $7200
NSW Farmers’ Association president, James Jackson, said he was pleased a key issue raised with the government, that the assets test was too low and disqualified many farmers in real need, had been addressed in this announcement. “The value of land and the costs of operating machinery have risen significantly in recent years and this has placed on-farm total asset value above the current threshold. A level that has not changed in the last four years.
Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, David Littleproud announced the federal assistance at Trangie. Mr Coulton said the $190 million package of immediate relief will be welcomed by the farming families.
“Farming families will now receive up to a total of $28,000 a year in assistance,” Mr Coulton said.