Immediate Relief for Farming Families takes Drought Relief to $576 million

Published: Comments:
Australian Government Environment Money & Finance Political Primary Industries

This is an archived copy of an article. It is online for informational purposes only.
Social:   

Farming families across the Wide Bay will receive immediate additional financial support to help them and their communities during drought.
 
The Coalition Government has announced two lump sum supplementary payments to the Farm Household Allowance (FHA).  Farming families will now receive up to a total of $28,000 a year in assistance following a boost of up to $12,000 per annum to FHA for eligible households.
 
Thousands more farming families will be able to access the FHA as the Coalition increases the net asset threshold cap from $2.6 million to $5 million.
 
The announcements bring the total support provided by the Coalition to households and communities in drought to $576 million, with more to come.
 
Federal Member for Wide Bay, Llew O'Brien said the $190 million package of immediate relief announced today, including support for mental health services, would assist farming families doing it tough right across the Wide Bay community.

"We're in this for the long haul and we will stand with our farmers every step of the way," Mr O'Brien said.

"I want to make sure farming families and communities get all the support they need to get through the drought, recover and get back on their feet.

"These extra FHA payments will help with an immediate cash flow so families can pay their bills and get their kids to school. This will flow on to help small businesses in the region," said Mr O'Brien.
 
Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud said raising the net assets cap for access to the FHA to $5 million will help farmers who have little cash flow.
 
"Owning expensive farm equipment doesn't pay the bills," Mr Littleproud said. "These threshold changes mean an additional 8000 farmers could become eligible for FHA support."
 
Additional measures announced today also include;

  • An extra $5 million in the Rural Financial Counselling Service, which will provide additional support for farmers - particularly those applying for the FHA for the first time.
  • $15 million to help the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal with small grants for not-for-profit community groups for locally driven targeted support.
  • $11.4 million in mental health support initiatives including:
  • Additional funding for Primary Health Networks in drought affected areas to cope with increased demand.
  • Those accessing counselling via Skype will no longer have their first appointment in person. This recognises the long distances and the cost of travel in money and time for rural people.
  • An Empowering Communities program that allows local communities to tailor local mental health responses to their needs. Eligible communities can apply for funds up to $1 million for community-led initiatives that improve mental health and community resilience.
  • Funding will be provided to ReachOUT to go out into drought affected communities and raise awareness of their youth and children's counselling services group.

Minister Littleproud said other long-term measures to improve drought resilience are being developed across government informed by issues raised during his drought listening tour of NSW and Queensland with the Prime Minister.

"Another phase of the Government's drought support will be announced in coming weeks and we will continue to work with farmers, stakeholders and agencies through this crippling drought," said the Minister.

Fast facts:

  • Households eligible for the Farm Household Allowance - a fortnightly payment totalling around $16,000 a year to help farming families in tough times - will receive two additional lump sum payments on 1 September 2018 and 1 March 2019. Couples will receive up to an additional $12,000 and single households will receive up to $7,200.
  • The change will apply for the remainder of the current financial year, with the review of FHA due back early in 2019 to provide further guidance on this important issue.
  • Today's announcements bring the total support provided by the Coalition Government to households and communities during the current drought to $576 million with more to come. This figure is in addition to the concessional drought loans available to farm businesses through the Regional Investment Corporation and there is more to come.
 
Llew O'Brien MP : View Full Profile
PO Box 283, Gympie
1300 301 968
Llew O'Brien MP
Showing 10+ recent articles for this business
23,500 Wide Bay aged pensioners to receive payment boost 19 March 2019 | More than 23,500 aged pensioners in Wide Bay will receive an increase to their payment rates from 20 March 2019, Member for Wide Bay Llew O'Brien announced today. More information...
Crucial cancer, Parkinson’s and motor neurone medicines listed on the PBS 19 March 2019 | Wide Bay patients will now be able to access crucial medicines for cancer, Parkinson's and motor neurone disease after they were added to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), Member for Wide Bay Llew O'Brien... More information...
$24,620 for six Men’s Sheds in Wide Bay 18 March 2019 | Six Men's Sheds in Wide Bay will receive a share in $24,620 for improvements and community activities, Member for Wide Bay Llew O'Brien announced today. More information...
Mary Valley secrets to be revealed with tourism grant 11 March 2019 | The hidden gem of Mary Valley is about to be revealed to the world, with Member for Wide Bay Llew O'Brien announcing $19,191 in federal funding for a new tourism marketing strategy. More information...
Free access to glucose monitoring extended for diabetics in Wide Bay 08 March 2019 | When Member for Wide Bay Llew O'Brien met young Sydney Ziebell last year, he promised to remember the Murgon boy and others with juvenile diabetes, and to support funding for research to find a cure. More information...
Federal grant to help tap new tourism markets on Cooloola Coast 08 March 2019 | "Voluntourism" will be the word on everyone's lips in Tin Can Bay, with Member for Wide Bay Llew O'Brien announcing a $20,000 grant for Cooloola Coastcare Association to develop a tourism strategy. More information...
Funding helps plan for Maryborough Showground's future success 07 March 2019 | A new strategic plan will outline growth opportunities for Maryborough Showgrounds and Equestrian Park, with help from a $15,000 grant from the Liberal National Government, Member for Wide Bay Llew O'Brien anno... More information...
Solar funding to help slash power bills for Wide Bay community groups 06 March 2019 | Federal Member for Wide Bay Llew O'Brien is seeking expressions of interest from local community groups for funding to reduce their power bills with small-scale solar energy generation and storage projects. More information...
Grants to highlight Noosa on tourism map 05 March 2019 | Noosa will be highlighted on the world map, with tourism operators to benefit from training and industry events funded by the Federal Liberal and Nationals Government's Building Better Regions Fund. More information...
521 new aged care beds for Wide Bay 05 March 2019 | Federal Member for Wide Bay Llew O'Brien has announced allocations have been approved for an extra 521 new aged care beds in Noosa, Maryborough, Gympie and Murgon. More information...



Social:   
comments powered by Disqus

All articles submitted by third parties or written by My Sunshine Coast come under our Disclaimer / Terms of Service