The Federal Member for Parkes, Mark Coulton welcomed the announcement of the Federal Government’s drought relief package.
Mr Coulton said that areas in the North West had been dealing with drought for two years, and that the assistance would go some way towards ameliorating the situation.
“The farmers in my Electorate are very tough, and they are very smart. They know how to prepare for a drought but there is a limit as to how long a farmer can deal with drought without assistance,” said Mr Coulton.
“The Prime Minister and Barnaby Joyce have put together this package in order to build on existing measures and to support viable farm businesses.”
Mr Coulton has urged farmers to resist the temptation of self-assessment when it comes to accessing assistance.
“The Interim Farm Household Allowance will replace existing measures and payments for new applicants will begin on the 3rd March.”
Mr Coulton said that the agricultural industry is vital to the future of Australia, and that eventually the season would come good again.
“This package will allow farmers to meet their financial commitments and the flow on effect will also be a boost to local businesses in our communities.”
“It is an unfortunate fact this drought package will not be all things to all people, but I certainly believe that the expansion of the Drought Concessional Loans Scheme will be welcomed by struggling farmers.”
Other measures within the package include additional funding for water-related infrastructure rebates, social support and assistance for managing pests in drought affected areas.
The announcement of the drought package comes after the Prime Minister and Federal Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce accepted an invitation from Mr Coulton to visit drought affected regions in the Parkes Electorate.
For further information:
· Interim Farm Household Allowance call 13 23 16
· Social Support call 1300 653 227
· Drought Concessional Loans Scheme www.daff.gov.au/assistance
· Additional Funding for water-related infrastructure rebates: www.raa.nsw.gv.au/assistance/emergency-water-infrastucture-rebate
· Assistance for farm businesses to manage pest impact in drought-affected areas: www.daff.gov.au/assistance