Scot MacDonald
GREATER ACCESS TO DROUGHT SUPPORT FOR HUNTER FARMERS
4th Oct 2018

The NSW Liberal National Government has today announced it is making it easier for farmers and their families to access the Drought Transport Subsidies and the Drought Assistance Fund by relaxing the gross off-farm asset test.

Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald MLC said the current criteria is being lifted from a $1 million off-farm assets to $5 million, which means more farmers will now be eligible to access drought assistance. 

“This change acknowledges the efforts of farmers who have diversified their assets, but understandably still need help during these tough times,” Mr MacDonald said.

“I am proud to be part of a Government that stands with our farmers and continues to assess its drought relief package to ensure we are delivering the right support at the right time.”

Mr MacDonald said criteria for ‘new entrants’ have also been created within the Government’s drought assistance guidelines to support farmers who are new the industry.

“New entrants, including many young farmers, will now have greater access to Government assistance which will be particularly beneficial as they establish their businesses.”

In addition to amending the access criteria, Mr MacDonald said the Government is also making it easier for farmers to get help completing and submitting drought support applications, with Local Land Services offices now providing this assistance.

“Farmers in the region can now visit their local LLS at Rutherford, Paterson and Salt Ash for assistance with preparing and submitting their applications for drought support. In addition, the Rural Assistance Authority (RAA) is now open until 10 pm weeknights.”

“I want to reiterate that it is important farmers don\'t self-assess their eligibility.”

“Farmers should talk to their Local Land Services or Rural Assistance Authority. RAA can be contacted on 1800 678 593 or website www.raa.nsw.gov.au. Hunter LLS can be contacted on (02) 4930 1030 and www.hunter.lls.nsw.gov.au

Department of Primary Industries (DPI) research stations and 37 Service NSW offices (from October 12) can also provide assistance to complete drought support applications. To find a local service center, visit https://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/climate-and-emergencies/droughthub/drought-assistance/assistance-near-you

The NSW Government Emergency Drought Relief package provides more than $1 billion in drought relief measures, for more information visit www.droughthub.nsw.gov.au