Gilmore farming families will receive immediate financial support to help them fight one of the worst droughts of the past century.

The additional $190 million package of relief measures announced yesterday includes additional support for mental health services and community organisations, and brings the total support provided by the Commonwealth Government to more than $576 million.

Member for Gilmore Ann Sudmalis said, “Our farmers and their families will get all the support they need to get them through the drought, recover and get back on their feet.”

“As a Government and as a community we will stand by them.”

Further longer-term measures to improve the strength of rural communities to handle drought conditions are being developed across Government in response to the issues raised with the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Agriculture Minister during our listening tour of NSW and Queensland in early June.

Another phase of the Government’s drought support will be announced in coming weeks.

The relief package includes-

  • A supplementary payment to Farm Household Allowance (FHA) recipients – two payment of $3,600 for singles and $3,000 each for couples. Couples in a household will receive up to additional $12,000 and single households will receive up to $7,200 – to be provided over two lump sum payments
  • Increasing the FHA income asset threshold from $2.6 million to $5 million net, effective from 1 November
  • An increase in demand for the FHA will be supported by an additional $5 million extra support to the Rural Financial Counselling Service, whose counsellors provide free, confidential and mobile advice to farmers doing it tough – particularly in relation to completing the FHA application process
  • FHA is a demand driven program, so anyone who is eligible will receive the payment
  • Also providing an $11.4 million package towards An Empowering Communities program
  • A youth awareness raising initiative in drought-affected communities
  • $15 million in the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal to facilitate small-scale grants to not for profit community groups to address immediate community needs in drought affected regions.

For guidance and support about the Farm Household Allowance, contact the Rural Financial Counselling Service on 1800 686 175 or the Farmer Assistance Hotline on 13 23 16. Please note due to increased call volumes some delays may be experienced.