Australia

Money needed: Federal and State drought elief still isnt enough for farmers

Rural Aid, Aussie Helpers and the NSW drought coordinator have weighed in on the Federal Governments drought-relief package announced in Trangie on Sunday.

Rural aid founder Charles Alder said while funding was a good step, more should have come sooner.

“It will given them subsistence living, but its going to make it very tough to remain viable if the drought doesnt break or the rains dont fall as they are talking about in March to April next year.”

The two lump-sum payments under the Farm Household Allowance will come to eligible couples and singles in September and March.

“If its up to $12,000 a year, thats only what, $300 a week, so its not a great deal of money. If farmers dont have any stock and theyre going to have to pay their mortgage, thats going to be a challenge as well,” Mr Alder said.

Aussie Helpers NSW drought-coordinator Krystal Haycock said she doesnt think the farmers would last as long as the government were thinking they would.

“It will go towards paying off bills, paying off accounts, id suggest it would go towards food and desperate household items, household repairs,

“It will go towards purchase of water to their homes. I dont think it will spread over a six month period.

“Thats quite a stretch on a farm, a farm has a lot more expenses than that.

“I dont think anything theyve introduced so far is enough, every bit is welcomed, but definitely needs to be more.”

NSW Department of Primary Industries NSW drought coordinator Pip Job said any type of support was welcomed and the main message for people struggling was not to self-assess.

“Yes the farm household allowance is complex, but theyve got the support to help them do it, use the Rural Financial Counselling Services, rather than saying its too hard.

“I think anything that can be done to help streamline a process should never be under looked.”

Ms Job said farmers and the government should be looking longer term beyond the current effects of the drought.

“As conditions continue to deteriorate, known of us know when the break will come, none of us are gifted with the rainmaker super power, we will keep looking at what support needs to provided.

“We only get a 12-month reprieve, will it be 5 years, 10 years until the next drought, we dont know.

“We need to learn from what we can now.”

This story Money needed: Federal and State drought elief still isnt enough for farmers first appeared on Narromine News.

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