December 5, 2019
Changes passed by Federal Parliament on Thursday should make it easier for more drought-affected farmers and their families to access the Farm Household Allowance.
Farming families can now combine farm and non-farm assets together as long as they are valued under $5.5 million.
“Those farmers who have looked to diversify as a buffer against the hard times may now be eligible thanks to these changes,” Agriculture Minister Bridget McKenzie said.
“Farmers receiving the Farm Household Allowance have more certainty about their rate of payment as it will no longer be varied as their incomes fluctuate for example, if they take on contract work. If farmers qualify, they’ll be paid in full.
“The activity supplement has more than doubled – from $4000 to $10,000 – and can now be used to pay for travel and accommodation costs when farmers are undertaking eligible training and study.
“Service providers, like Rural Financial Counsellors, farm consultants, or local accountants can now conduct farm financial assessments for farmers to help them improve their circumstances.
“The changes are in line with the recommendation of the independent farmer-led review of the FHA.”
Earlier this year, the Federal Government extended the payment so it’s available for four in every 10 years.
“We’ve made the treatment of income much simpler and we’ve introduced the ability for the Minister to make lump sum payments, with the payment becoming available from December 16, in time for Christmas,” Minister McKenzie said.