DROUGHT SUPPORT SERVICES

We know that farmers and rural communities deal with a range of on-farm challenges, including drought. Impacts drought can affect our communities, agriculture, economy and health. With many regions across Australia experiencing significant and prolonged drought there is a range of support services available that may help you.

The Australian Government has announced a new support package to deliver nearly $100 million in direct and immediate help for farming families in drought-hit communities. For more information visit the website 

MEDIA RELEASE issued 27 Sep 2019
Farmers and their communities will have access to more support with the Coalition Government announcing it will provide more funding, cut red tape and increase services.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said a new support package will deliver nearly $100 million to drought-hit communities, which is on top of more than $7 billion in drought support funding already provided.

“We are delivering $33.42 million to resume the Drought Community Support Initiative, which will deliver up to $3000 to eligible farming households experiencing hardship due to drought,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.

“We are providing a $13 million extension to the Drought Community Program to deliver support at the local government level where it counts.

“Thirteen Local Government Areas will be provided up to $1 million for local infrastructure and drought relief products.”

“An injection of $740,000 of contingency funding to five Rural Financial Counselling Service providers who are experiencing pressure from increased demand for their services.

“Today we are announcing a radical simplification of the FHA application process and key settings”.

“We will remove the requirement for business income reconciliation, change the time limit on payment from four years in total to four out of every  ten years, simplify the assets test, recognise agistment as being part of primary production income, and redesign the application process. For the first time, couples will be able to apply for the payment using just one application. These changes will make FHA quicker and easier to access, better reflect the nature of farm businesses, and to acknowledge that farmers may experience more than one period of hardship in their lifetime.Some of these changes will require amendments to legislation, but through Centrelink we will implement as many of the changes to the application process immediately.”

Read full media release

R U OK

There are a lot of good things about living and working in Australia’s rural communities, but we know our rural communities are doing it tough at the moment,  facing unique challenges and the impact of the drought. Fewer services, natural disasters, isolation and loneliness are just a few of the things that can be harder to deal with in rural communities. There can also be a ‘toughen up’ culture where it’s not always easy to talk about the things or give us the confidence to ask a mate if everything is ok. If someone you know – a family member, mate, neighbour or workmate – is doing it tough, chances are they won’t always tell you. Sometimes it’s up to us to trust our gut instinct and ask someone who may be struggling with life “are you ok?” By asking and listening, we can help our mates and loved ones feel more supported and connected long before they even think about suicide.

It’s something we can all do by following a few simple steps to start an R U OK? conversation:

  1. Ask R U OK?
  2. Listen
  3. Encourage action
  4. Check in.

RUOK have resources to help you, including The Rural Mateship Guide on how to help someone who’s doing it tough, for more information, visit the RUOK website 

FarmHub

FarmHub is an online portal that connects Australian farmers with services and support during tough times, such as drought.

Developed by the National Farmers Federation, the portal includes a comprehensive guide to drought assistance available from government, charitable and private organisations in all states. FarmHub provides links to organisations that offer information and support across:

  • Drought relief assistance schemes
  • Drought loans and assistance funds
  • Farm household assistance
  • Farm debt mediation
  • Financial counselling services
  • Foodbank drought relief
  • Family mental health support and relationship advice
  • Rural economic development grants
  • Farm and rural legal services
  • Weather outlooks

If you’re searching for drought assistance for your farm or business, FarmHub is a one-stop shop for information and support with fodder, water, transport, everyday-living expenses, health and more.

Financial drought relief assistance

With extreme drought conditions continuing across Australia, many financial institutions are recognising the impact these conditions are having on their agribusiness and farming customers.

Several institutions have committed to support these customers through a range of financial initiatives including:

Westpac Bank

Commonwealth Bank

National Australia Bank

ANZ Bank

Bendigo Bank

Rural Bank

Contact your financial services provider to discuss the assistance and support available to you.

Drought and rural support

The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources has put together a range of information and advice to help people find support services and assistance in times of need.

For help and advice, visit the Drought and rural support page online.

Contact Us

If you have any questions or would like to be contacted by one of our brokers, please send us an email with your details.