SA farmers receive rate reprieve in $21M drought package

SA farmers receive rate reprieve in $21M drought package

Politics
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IMMEDIATE council rate and pastoral lease rent relief will be granted to SA farmers, after the state government announced a $21 million drought relief package.

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IMMEDIATE council rate and pastoral lease rent relief will be granted to SA farmers, after the state government announced a $21 million drought relief package.

A 50 per cent rebate for rates in 2019-20 and 2020-21 will be provided for primary producers receiving the Farm Household Allowance.

These rebates will be funded by the state government and will not impact local council's revenue.

The Rural Financial Counselling Service and Family and Business mentor program support will be increased, while long term resilience through an expansion of the On-Farm Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate Scheme will also be implemented.

SA Premier Steven Marshall said the dedicated $21M Drought Support Program was designed to help reduce the immediate burden on the farming community.

"This package builds on the support measures already in place and we will continue to work constructively with industry, federal and local governments to ensure assistance is targeted and effective," he said.

RELATED READING: Drought support for communities, small businesses and farmers

Primary Industries Minister Tim Whetstone said the government had worked closely with industry through the Dry Conditions Working Group.

"Our support integrates with the federal governments assistance measures and will encourage more farmers in hardship to apply for and take advantage of the Farm Household Allowance, recognising the Commonwealth have recently relaxed eligibility and streamlined assessment processes," he said.

"The Rural Financial Counselling Service is doing an outstanding job in not only providing support for farmers applying for the Farm Household Allowance but also creating greater resilience, so additional assistance through this program is important."

Primary Producers SA Chairman Rob Kerin said he welcomed the state government's package.

"There are a percentage of farmers greatly affected by drought and this assistance will help them, and supplement the Federal Government Household Support. The council rate and pastoral lease subsidies will offer meaningful support to those eligible," he said.

"PPSA are also pleased that Rural Business Support will receive support. This will help take pressure off them as they endeavour to offer assistance to increasing numbers of drought affected farmers."

The SA Drought Support Program also included increased funding to Rural Business Support for a number of support activities which includes assisting small rural and regional businesses and increasing the Rural Financial Counselling Services to meet growing demand.

As well as increasing the Commonwealth government's On-farm Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate Scheme, from 25pc to 50pc, or up to $50,000, which will provide a greater incentive for eligible primary producers to purchase and install new water infrastructure and improve drought resilience.

Funding for the Family and Business support mentor program will also be increased to help provide wellbeing and business advice to farmers, families and small businesses in drought-affected regions.

The story SA farmers receive rate reprieve in $21M drought package first appeared on Stock Journal.

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