Increased support for farmers with $709 million drought relief package

Increased support for farmers with $709 million drought relief package

Drought-affected farmers and communities will receive a significant boost from the government’s $709 million drought relief package. The latest investment is designed to support both farmers and rural communities, with the main focus being on interest free loans and water sourcing.

Our local member for Flynn, Ken O’Dowd said “farmers will have access to loans of up to $2 million with no interest or repayments for the first two years. This will save farmers who refinance thousands of dollars and help them get back on their feet when the drought breaks.”

For the first time, businesses in Flynn that are dependent on agriculture will also be able to access interest free loans of up to $500,000. “This will protect jobs in Flynn and make sure we can bounce back,” Ken O’Dowd said.

In addition to this, 100GL of water is being supplied from South Australia to assist with growing feed for farm stock. For livestock producers, a reliable and cost-effective supply of fodder and pasture is necessary to remain viable. Providing more fodder over the next 12 months will help some farmers to support breeding stock for longer. Without this water supply, more farmers may be forced to destock their properties, prolonging the recovery time for farm businesses and communities when the drought breaks.

“Nationally, another $378 million will be invested into drought-affected community projects, with an extra $138.9 million going into our Roads to Recovery initiative,” Ken O’Dowd explained.

The Drought Communities Programme Extension (DCP) supports communities in the most drought-affected regions of Australia. Funding is available to eligible councils for local infrastructure projects and other drought-relief activities. Project funding is intended to provide short-term support, including by boosting local employment and procurement, and addressing social and community needs.

$1 million will be available to each of the 128 Local Government Areas that have already received funding, along with a $50 million discretionary fund to support additional Local Government Areas impacted by the drought. This is all part of the Drought Communities Programme Extension (DCP), to find out more please visit www.regional.gov.au/regional/programs/drought -communities.aspx