I urge farmers to seek help and find out what assistance they may be eligible for.
Please do not self-assess your eligibility – seek advice from an expert at the Dept. of Human Services on 13 23 16 or the Rural Financial Counselling Service on 1800 686 175.
Visit www.farmhub.org.au for detailed information on all services and support available.
RIC CONCESSIONAL LOANS FOR FARMERS
- Two year interest free drought loans available supporting farmers to manage and recover from the drought. Interest only payment for years three to five and interest and principal for years six to ten.
- Could save farmers tens-of-thousands of dollars in interest each year.
- Government has delivered $464 million to 813 farm businesses in drought concessional loans to date.
- To contact RIC, visit this site.
RIC CONCESSIONAL LOANS FOR FARM-DEPENDENT SMALL BUSINESSES
- Farm businesses and farm-dependent small businesses – harvesting and shearing contractors, livestock transport providers, stock and station agents and agricultural equipment and repair providers – will have access to more generous loan terms, including an interest free period, concessional interest rates and a reasonable repayment period.
- The Government will support small businesses with a new concessional loan product of up to $500,000 including two years interest free, interest only payment for years three to five and interest and principal for years six to ten.
- To contact RIC, visit this site.
FARM HOUSEHOLD ALLOWANCE (FHA)
- There are potentially 25,000 farmers across the country who may be eligible for the Farm Household Allowance (FHA) and haven’t applied.
- Supplementary payment of $12,000 per couple and $7,200 for a single – This brings the total payment for a couple to around $37,000 and to around $22,000 for a single.
- The $5 million farm asset test threshold for Farm Household Allowance will be made permanent.
- FHA recipients who are forced to sell livestock during the drought may continue to receive FHA payments if the profits are deposited into a Farm Management Deposit account.
- The FHA assets tests will be changed to allow thousands more farmers to access support.
INSTANT ASSET WRITE-OFF
- The instant asset write-off for small businesses has been extended to 30 June 2020 and increased in value from $25,000 to $30,000.
FARM MANAGEMENT DEPOSITS
- The Coalition doubled the amount farmers could set aside from their taxable income and hold in Farm Management Deposits to $800,000 and changed the law to allow them to be used as offsets against a farmer’s mortgage.
- Following the Government led drought roundtable in July, NAB, CBA, Rabobank, Westpac and ANZ have now agreed to allow farmers to use the FMD as an offset against their loan, reducing their interest payments.
RURAL FINANCIAL COUNSELLING SERVICE
- 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.
- The government has now invested $77 million in the RFCS from April 2016 to June 2020 including a recent $20.4 million extension.
- The Government has invested an additional $29.4 million for mental health support initiatives to help farmers and communities deal with the anxiety, stress and uncertainty of drought conditions.
- Aussie Helpers received another $1 million recently for an innovative counselling service accessed via SMS.
- Dedicated Farmer Assistance Hotline: Phone 132 316
- Locate your nearest Rural Financial Counsellor CLICK HERE
- Further information, please CLICK HERE
For more information, CLICK HERE.