Since July 1, local farmers in Pearce who are suffering financial hardship are able to apply for the Coalition Government’s Farm Household Allowance.
Federal Member for Pearce, Christian Porter, said the allowance would support farmers whether or not the hardship was the result of drought.
“The Coalition Government understands that in times of financial hardship, farmers still need to run their farms. They can’t just walk away from these responsibilities and get a job in town – especially when the closest town may be some hours away,” Mr Porter said.
“This allowance will provide financial support to farmers during times of hardship, and, importantly, provide them with support from a Farm Household Case Officer and, where appropriate, a rural financial counsellor.
“Eligible farmers will be able to access the allowance for up to three years. They will also receive a Health Care Card and have access to a range of other allowances and entitlements.
“We understand that when income dries up, the value of on-farm assets is a barrier to most farming families’ ability to access income assistance – and that’s why this allowance includes a more generous assets test in comparison to other forms of income support.”
Mr Porter said that under changes announced in February as part of the national drought package, the new Farm Household Allowance contains more flexible eligibility criteria.
As a result more than 1460 recipients are being supported, with over 1000 recipients benefitting from the more generous scheme that would otherwise have been ineligible under the previous Transitional Farm Family Payment.
For information on how to claim, visit humanservices.gov.au/rural or call the Farmer Assistance Hotline on 132 316.