LPSC Drought Relief Strategy
In view of the current severe drought currently afflicting the region, Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) has developed a Drought Relief Strategy designed to assist its community through the crisis and the recovery period that will follow. This Strategy has been developed following consultation with local community leaders. It provides a framework for Council’s response to the current drought
NSW DroughtHub provides a one-stop online destination for information on a vast range of services and support available to primary producers, their families and communities to prepare for and manage drought.
Almost all the state is now in mild to severe drought and the NSW Government is committed to working closely with farmers, their families and rural communities.
DPI makes every attempt to ensure the information supplied is current, however the individual circumstances of DroughtHub users should be taken into account when considering the linked services.
In times of natural disaster (i.e. Fire, Floods, Earthquake), DefenceCare is able to pay bills on behalf of, or transfer funds by EFT to an applicant.
This assistance is initially limited to $3000; however increased assistance may be available depending on the circumstances.
DefenceCare encourages applicants to request any amount necessary, and will consider all applications for approval on their individual merits.
Assistance Guide for Primary Producers
Federal Government Farm Household Allowance
The Farm Household Allowance was introduced in 2014 to provide financial assistance to farmers in strife. Recently, the scheme was amended to reflect the hard-hitting drought conditions a significant number of farmers are facing.https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/services/centrelink/farm-household-allowance/eligibility
Regional Investment Corporation farm business concessional loans
From 1 July 2018, farmers need to apply to the Regional Investment Corporation (RIC) for the Commonwealth’s farm business concessional loans. The RIC offers two types of loans - Farm Investment Loans and Drought Loans. Go to http://www.ric.gov.au/
Federal Government Farm Management Deposit (FMD) Scheme
The FMD scheme is essentially a risk-management tool to help eligible primary producers manage uneven cash flows. Under the scheme, they can set aside pre-tax income from their farming operations in years of high income, which they can draw on when they need it.https://www.ato.gov.au/business/primary-producers/in-detail/farm-management-deposits-scheme/
Rural Financial Counselling Service
In addition to pumping extra cash into the FHA scheme, the Government has also announced a boost in funding to the Rural Financial Counselling Service (RFCS) which is a free financial information service to assist farmers in need. Call 1800 686 175 to find the nearest rural financial counsellor, or visit http://www.agriculture.gov.au/ag-farm-food/drought/assistance/rural-financial-counselling-service
State Government Farm Debt Mediation (FDM)
The Farm Debt Mediation Scheme protects farmers’ rights by ensuring banks and creditors offer mediation to farmers before attempting to recover any debt on farm mortgages. Farm debt mediation is a structured negotiation process where a neutral and independent mediator assists the farmer and the creditor to try to reach agreement about current and future debt arrangements. https://www.raa.nsw.gov.au/fdm
The NSW state government has announced a $500 million Emergency Drought Relief Package to ease the strain felt by farmers in the state. The package includes the Drought Transport Subsidy which offers eligible farm businesses a transport subsidy of up to $30,000. The subsidy is back-dated so farmers can apply it for freight expenses incurred since January 1, 2018. The subsidy covers 50 per cent of the full cost of freight up to a maximum of $5 per kilometre and 1500km per journey. The subsidy can be applied for the cost of transporting fodder, water to a property for stock, stock to and from agistment, and stock to sale or slaughter. In addition, the NSW government has also waived a series of farming fees and charges such as the Local Land Services rates, heavy vehicle registration costs and more. More details can be found at https://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/climate-and-emergencies/droughthub/emergency-drought-relief-package
The NSW DPI Rural Resilience Program can provide support by way of appropriate referrals, liaising with other services, and delivering initiatives tailored to the particular need of the community. They work closely with other partners such as the NSW Rural Assistance Authority, Rural Financial Counsellors, the Rural Adversity Mental Health Program (RAMHP) and the Local Lands Services to do this. They run a number of programs including educational, personal and business resilience building activities. They contribute to Rural Service Support Networks across NSW and work to ensure there is an informed and cohesive approach to supporting farmers across various agencies. Go to http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/about-us/rural-support/rural-resilience-program
General Health and Mental Well Being
A range of services are available to support the wellbeing of NSW primary producers and their families delivered through the NSW Government, Commonwealth Government, private and not-for-profit sectors - https://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/climate-and-emergencies/droughthub/wellbeing
Transport of Donated Fodder
100% of the cost of transporting donated fodder is available to transport providers associated with community groups - https://www.raa.nsw.gov.au/assistance/rebate-on-road-transport