With parts of the state experiencing one of the driest seasons in decades, farmers are being encouraged to investigate the full range of government assistance.
“There are a number of ways to seek assistance, whether that be financial or for health and well-being, and I strongly encourage people to take the time to look into these, as well as making sure they don’t self-assess,” MP for Stuart, Dan van Holst Pellekaan, said.
“Unfortunately there are large areas in our electorate experiencing extremely dry conditions, with many farmers and pastoralists facing their second consecutive poor season.”
As a first step - primary producers and small rural business owners who are experiencing financial difficulties or who have concerns about the financial impacts of the continuing dry season can contact the Rural Financial Counselling Service, which provides free, confidential and impartial business support and information.
The Rural Financial Counselling service is also able to provide support in the application process for Farm Household Allowance and Farm Management Deposits.
There are also supports available to help manage the emotional toll of a difficult season.
The South Australian Primary Industries Website has a complete list of personal health and well-being resources available for rural residents, including Mind Australia Drought Assistance & Mental Health services.
Additionally, PIRSA has established a dedicated 24-hour Agriculture, Animal Health and Welfare Hotline for producers to call if they have any questions or concerns about animal health or welfare, related to the current dry conditions.
All of these resources are supplementary to direct financial aid.
“The Federal Government has made changes to the Farm Household Allowance, including increasing the asset threshold and introducing a supplementary payment of up to $12000 for couples and $7200 for singles,” Mr van Holst Pellekaan continued.
Farm Household Allowance is a package that’s available to eligible farmers and their partners experiencing hardship (including drought) for up to four cumulative years.
For comprehensive information about how what assistance is available, as well as details about appeals if you would like to make a donation, visit www.pir.sa.gov.au