New measures to improve the Farm Household Allowance (FHA) program will make it easier to access. “We know the drought is continuing to bite despite welcome recent rainfalls in some parts of the Riverina and Central West,” said Riverina MP and Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack.
Changes to the FHA over the past year include simplifying the assets test to a single threshold of $5.5 million, no differentiation between farm and non-farm assets, and anyone under the limit will be paid the full rate automatically.
Rural financial counsellors and farm consultants have also now been added to the list of professionals able to complete Farm Financial Assessments.
The amount of funding through the Activity Supplement has been doubled to $10,000 for farmers and their partners to seek independent expert advice or gain new qualifications or skills. “The financial strain from this drought for farmers and indeed regional communities as a whole will continue well after this drought breaks,” Michael said.
“Our farmers produce the very best food and fibre in the world and the Federal Government is standing with them to ensure they come out the other side of this drought as best as they possibly can.”