Update on Drought Assistance

RAA – Rural Assistance Authority

https://raa.nsw.gov.au

Farm Innovation Fund

The Farm Innovation Fund is part of the NSW Government’s Drought Strategy and is a long term, low interest rate loan for NSW farmers for permanent on-farm infrastructure. The purpose of this is to help farmers:

– Improve farm productivity;
– Manage adverse seasonal conditions; and
– Ensure long term sustainability.

The NSW Government has allocated $1 billion, and farmers can borrow a maximum of $1 million per project at any one time. During June, the NSW Government announced an additional $350 million increase to the fund. As of 4 August 2019, there is $606,401,206 of remaining funding.

Interest charges on the Farm Innovation Fund loans for the 2019-20 financial year will also be waived.

Basic eligibility – you must earn more than 50% of your gross income from your primary production business under a normal seasonal circumstance. Gross off-farm assets not exceeding $5,000,000.

Drought Assistance Fund

The NSW Government is offering $50,000 interest free loans to primary producers to implement systems and management practices to enhance the productivity of their farm business. The term of the loan is 7 years, with no repayments required in the first 2 years. Applicants who have received a loan in the 2018/19 Financial Year can apply for an additional loan of up to $50,000 in the 2019/20 Financial Year.

These loans can be used for:

– Transport of stock, water and fodder;
– Genetic banking of breeding herds;
– Installation of on-farm fodder & water infrastructure; and
– Activities that promote profitability and resilience as a result of the on-farm investment.

Basic eligibility – you must earn more than 50% of your gross income from your primary production business under a normal seasonal circumstance. Gross off-farm assets not exceeding $5,000,000.

Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate Scheme

The on-farm Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate scheme is available to eligible primary producers who can claim a rebate of 25% of the cost for new purchases and installation of pipes, water storage and pumps, de-silting dams and associated power supplies.

This rebate scheme can be applied to costs incurred from 1 July 2018.

A maximum claim of $25,000 is available per farming business.

Basic eligibility – you must earn more than 50% of your gross income from your primary production business under a normal seasonal circumstance. Gross off-farm assets not exceeding $5,000,000. Introduction of purchased stock after 1 July 2018 may affect your eligibility and will be reviewed on a case by case basis.

Emergency Drought Transport Subsidy

Eligible farm businesses are entitled to receive up to $40,000 for the period 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020.

The subsidy can be applied to the cost of transporting fodder, water and stock to and from farms and farm chemicals, fertiliser and seed to farms.

The NSW Government has allowed new applicants to include invoices dated 1 January 2018 to 30 June 2019 in the current year subsidy cap. These invoices must be received by 30 September 2019.

Basic eligibility – you must earn more than 50% of your gross income from your primary production business under a normal seasonal circumstance. Gross off-farm assets not exceeding $5,000,000.

Animal Welfare Transport Subsidy

A subsidy is also available to assist with the transport of stock. This subsidy covers up to 50% of the total freight cost (to a max of $20,000 per farm per Financial Year) and is available when:

– Animals are at significant risk;
– There is little or no feed and/or water available including both pasture and stored fodder;
– Animals leave the farming enterprise permanently; and
– The enterprise demonstrates a significant financial need.

Basic eligibility – must be an eligible client of the Rural Financial Counselling Service or be in receipt of the Farm Household Allowance, you must earn more than 50% of your gross income from your primary production business under a normal seasonal circumstance. Gross off-farm assets not exceeding $5,000,000.

Centrelink

https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/rural-and-remote-australians

Farm Household Allowance

Eligible farmers and their partners may qualify for Farm Household Allowance to support them through hardship. As part of Farm Household Allowance you will receive:

– A fortnightly payment;
– Allowances to help with expenses like rent, phone & medicine;
– A financial assessment of your farm with your prescribed advisor (up to $1,500);
– A Health Care Card; and
– Funding to help develop skills, access training & pay for professional advice (up to $4,000).

Eligibility for Farm Household allowance is subject to income and asset tests. For further information on this, please contact your local Centrelink office or Rural Financial Counsellor.
If you are successful in your application, you must complete a Farm Financial Assessment. This will involve you completing Part A, and working with us to complete Part B, C & D.

We are here to help, please contact our office if you need assistance with any of the measures outlined. Phone numbers for our offices can be found here www.rm.net.au/contact-us

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