WE NEED RAIN: Benair peanut grower Trevor Campbell said the season had been one of the worst farmers had seen in recent times.
WE NEED RAIN: Benair peanut grower Trevor Campbell said the season had been one of the worst farmers had seen in recent times. Rhiannon Tuffield

Financial support for farmers doing it tough

FARMERS experiencing drought hardship can now apply for additional financial support.

Agriculture and water resources minister David Littleproud said the government had passed the Farm Household Allowance Support Amendment Bill 2018 on June 29.

Rural Financial Counselling Service Southern Queensland chair Karen Tully said the extra time frame provided in the bill would further support farmers impacted by the drought.

"This amendment increased the cumulative period for farmers who qualify for Farm Household Allowance from three years to four years," she said.

The FHA payment would be available to assist farmers who may be experiencing financial hardship due to climatic or industry challenges.

Some have experienced drought pressure for seven ongoing years.

The Bill passed the House and the Senate without delay, Mrs Tully said.

The Australian Government program, which was introduced in July 2014, provides eligible farmers and their partners with assistance to improve their long-term financial situation.

Eligible farmers and their partners are both able to access the fortnightly income support.

"No matter what type of issue you are facing on the land, whether it is preparing cash flows, drought or industry challenges, negotiating with lenders or preparing for retirement and succession planning, rural financial counsellors can assist," Mrs Tully said.

She said farmers should not assess their own eligibility, but ask a rural financial counsellor for assistance with the Farm Household Allowance application process.

For more information about counselling support contact the Rural financial counselling service southern Queensland head office on 4622 5500.

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