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In the lead up to the federal election, the Coalition promised to support our farmers during the current drought as well as those in the future, and we have delivered.
The Morrison Government is providing over $7 billion in drought affected regions for those currently struggling to keep their operations running as the crippling effects of this drought continue to bite. They are backing themselves and we are backing them to make it through to the better days ahead.
Drought assistance funds are going towards:
Help for Farming Families
- Providing more than 12,700 farming families with over $100,000 each in order to cope with the pressures of the drought. An additional $3,000 will be provided to eligible affected households experiencing hardship.
- Granting farmers and their partners access to one-on-one meetings with the Farm Household Case Officer, a healthcare card, rent assistance, and pharmaceutical, telephone and remote area allowances.
- Access to over $1 billion in interest free loans for farming families and small business has been provided.
Taxation Measures Now
- Income tax averaging evens out farmers’ income over time to help them better manage their cash flow.
- Immediate deductions on the purchase cost of new water facilities, fodder infrastructure and fencing.
- Until June 2020, farm businesses with a turnover threshold of up to $50 million are able to immediately deduct purchases of eligible assets costing up to $30,000.
Improving Access to Water
- On-farm water infrastructure rebates to help farmers install emergency on-farm watering points, de-silting of dams, and drilling of new water bores to access water.
- The Government has been able to secure up to 100 gigalitres of water for farmers to grow fodder, silage and pasture at a discounted rate. This will produce up to 120,000 tonnes of feed for animals on farms in drought.
Mental Health Services
- The Government has committed $29.4 million for community-led rural mental health services to help our communities through this drought.
- By removing barriers we’re allowing more regional and rural Australians access to Telehealth services.
Additionally, the Government’s latest initiatives, announced on November 7, will deliver an extra $709 million worth of direct support to communities affected by the current drought.
$200 million has been redirected into the Building Better Regions Fund, and $138.9 million has been added to our Roads to Recovery initiative. This is enabling the progression of local projects and infrastructure work that will deliver economic and social benefit to drought-affected communities by keeping finance flowing, trades in work and money rolling through local stores.