Farmers in hardship will get an extra year of support under federal government plans to help rural and regional property owners.
The farm household allowance currently provides three years of income support, planning advice and re-training assistance for farmers facing hardship, including in times of drought.
But Agriculture Minister David Littleproud has introduced legislation to parliament to give those people an extra year of support.
‘It’s an industry that all Australians should be proud of – it’s a pillar of the Australian economy and it’s the lifeblood of many rural and regional communities,’ he said.
Mr Littleproud says the support is a safety net which also allows farmers to improve their position, including undertaking training for everything from a bus or truck licence, welding qualification, drone operation, web design or teaching.
The legislation follows Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s tour of drought-affected communities in rural NSW and Queensland, during which farmers flagged the three-year maximum support period as a problem.
It will apply to those currently receiving the allowance, those who apply in future and give an extra year of support to those who have already used their three years.