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Gillard Government to Implement National Drought Reform

16 May 2013

AUSTRALIA - The Gillard Government has announced a new A$99.4 million Farm Household Allowance that will be at the core of the National Drought Programme Reform.

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator Joe Ludwig, said the Farm Household Allowance is part of the Government’s agricultural plan to prepare farmers for future challenges.

“Under the existing system of Exceptional Circumstances support, assistance has been provided based on lines drawn on a map, rather than on the needs of the primary producers experiencing drought,” Minister Ludwig said.

“The Farm Household Allowance will deliver support for farming families when they need it.”

Eligible farmers and their partners will be able to access the Allowance for up to three years, paid fortnightly at a rate equivalent to the Newstart Allowance.

The Farm Household Allowance will be provided from 1 July 2014 to farmers in hardship to replace the Exceptional Circumstances (EC) Relief Payment and Transitional Farm Family Payment.

“The Farm Household Allowance is part of the Government’s investment in the National Drought Program Reform,” Minister Ludwig said.

“Farmers are on the frontline against climate variability and the national drought reform package is focused on preparing farmers before drought with the tools and skills they need to emerge from it.

The National Drought Programme Reform is a national initiative and includes:

  • the Gillard Government’s Farm Household Allowance, with case managers to help recipients identify pathways to improve their situations
  • taxation measures including the Farm Management Deposits Scheme
  • coordinated social support services, and
  • tools and technologies to inform farm decision-making.

“These measures deliver important, long-term reform for Australia’s agricultural sector and are designed to deliver greater productivity,” Minister Ludwig said.

This budget keeps our economy strong, makes the smart investments for our future and ensures every Australian gets a fair go.

We are investing for the future, putting jobs and economic growth first and protecting the important services that Australians rely on.

More information about the drought reform package can be found here.

TheCropSite News Desk

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