Farm household allowance boost welcomed
FARMERS affected by drought and rural communities are set to receive additional assistance to help sustain their farming businesses.
This follows continued advocacy by the Queensland Farmers' Federation (QFF) and industry members.
Legislation was passed yesterday by the Australian Government to amend the Farm Household Allowance.
This announcement will lift the net asset threshold from $2.6 million to $5 million and also provide a supplement payment of up to $12,000 to help meet basic daily expenses.
QFF CEO Travis Tobin commended the Australian Government for supporting Queensland farmers struggling with the current drought but said a review into all levels of government drought policy was overdue.
"QFF and its industry members have been calling on the federal and state governments to do more to support drought affected farmers and rural communities in Queensland," he said.
Mr Tobin said that the Australian Government has monitored the drought situation and responded accordingly, recently convening a drought roundtable in Canberra, pressuring the banks to allow farmers to offset money held in Farm Management Deposits against their lending, and making these adjustments to the Farm Household Allowance, but more must be done.
"While farmers and rural communities are tough, this protracted drought is challenging for even the most resilient. With climate projections suggesting more frequent extreme weather events in the future, it is timely to review how federal and state governments approach and respond to drought," he said.
Mr Tobin said that it's unfortunate that the only time governments really become engaged in drought policy discussions is when severe drought conditions exist, even though it's part of the Australian landscape.
"Nevertheless, we need to have the hard discussions, think beyond just reactionary measures, and provide a holistic and practical policy framework for all agricultural industries doing it tough," he said.
Help is available to farmers and rural communities affected by drought, for details about assistance and support services or to lend a hand to those doing it tough.