There will soon be more support for farmers and small businesses in the Parkes electorate, following a $57.4 million suite of Coalition Government announcements made on a farm near Dubbo today.
“It is a great privilege to welcome my Federal colleagues to Kevin and Robyn West’s farm at Eumungerie today, including Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, and Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud,” Mr Coulton said.
“I am glad the Parkes electorate is in the spotlight today as key policy announcements are made.
“Of these announcements, I am particularly pleased about a new restocking and replanting concession loan and a small business support program, as well as further improvements to the Farm Household Allowance (FHA).
“These initiatives, along with others, will make a significant difference to the livelihoods of farming operations and businesses in my electorate.”
• New restocking and replanting concession loan through the Regional Investment Corporation (RIC) for farmers recovering from drought
o Loans of up to $200,000 will be available with a two year interest free period, and no interest accrual
• The recommendations of the Farm Household Allowance (FHA) Review will be progressed, including
o $36.4 million to make the temporary increase to farm assets test permanent (this refers to the $5 million farm asset threshold)
o FHA will be available to farmers for four in every 10 years
• $7 million Drought Communities Small Business Support Program
• $20 million Regional Agricultural Show Development Grant Program
• $10 million bringing kids and farm together program
o $5 million for up to 80 iFarm trailers for city based schools
o $5 million for school visits to farms
• $720,000 to support Agricultural Shows Australia to promote the value of Australian agriculture
• $220,000 to encourage more young people to study agriculture by improving future education initiatives.
• $3.9 billion in the Future Drought Fund which will grow to $5 billion (already in Budget)
Attributable to the Prime Minister:
We’re standing up for our farmers and regional communities to fight this drought and to help create more opportunities and jobs.
This is about building on the $6.3 billion in drought support we’re already delivering by making life that bit easier for those doing it tough and also boosting understanding in our cities about how important these communities are to Australia.
Strong regions and farms and key to our plan for a stronger economy. Our regional communities are Australia’s engine room.
From the direct help we’re offering with a better Farm Household Allowance, rural financial counselling and our $5 billion drought fund, to backing agriculture shows and programs that show off our great farmers to the rest of country, we’ll always stand by our farmers and agricultural communities.
We’re bringing the country to the city by backing our agricultural shows and education programs that help our children understand how things get from the paddock to their plate.
By better understanding what our farmers do we’re going to make sure this and future generations appreciate how much agriculture means to our economy and our everyday life.
Quotes Attributable to Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack:
“Droughts don’t just affect farmers, they affect small businesses, community groups and sporting clubs in country communities too,” Mr McCormack said.
“That’s why the Liberals & Nationals’ support will include small businesses to make sure we look after the whole community during tough times.
“Together we can make sure our country and farming communities stay strong and vibrant well into the future.”
Quotes attributable to Minister Littleproud:
“We will actively progress the recommendations of the Farm Household Allowance (FHA) Review with the agricultural sector, including the decoupling of FHA from the Social Security Act and making the FHA available to farmers for four in every ten years.
“We will also make permanent the $5 million farm asset threshold to make the FHA even more accessible.
“When our farmers are in drought, so are the small regional businesses that support them. If re-elected, we will commit $7 million to establish a pilot rural financial counselling service to help small regional and rural businesses with financial planning, mentoring and coaching. Around 45 specialist counsellors will be employed in rural communities around the country where drought is having a major impact on local small businesses. “