More support for farmers in drought

More support for farmers in drought

The Government continues to roll out more help for farmers facing drought across Queensland and New South Wales, with a newly created Farm Liaison Officer role based in Longreach.

The Farm Liaison Officer will help connect farmers, businesses and communities with the support of the Rural Financial Counselling Service and community assistance measures.

Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud said the move follows frank conversations with drought affected farmers during his recent drought tour with the Prime Minister.

“The Farm Liaison Officer will work to better connect farmers, businesses and communities to existing support measures,” Mr Littleproud said.

“For example, the Farm Liaison Officer would help connect people to Rural Financial Counsellors, who help farmers apply for Farm Household Allowance.

“It will be crucial for this Liaison Officer to get farmers’ feedback on these measures back to Government as quickly as possible.

“Data collected by the Liaison Officer will help build a better picture of client’s circumstances before, during and after accessing federal support measures to better inform government.

“The Farm Liaison Officer will be based in Longreach and travel between the four RFCS regions of Queensland North, Queensland Southern, NSW Central and NSW Northern.”

The Farm Liaison Officer position will run over two years as part of a pilot program thanks to $750,000 in federal funding.

Mr Littleproud said the Government also recently announced an additional $20 million to extend the Rural Financial Counselling Service to 2020.

“The RFCS is an essential service, currently helping around 4,500 clients each year,” Mr Littleproud said.

“In a recent survey around two thirds of clients said the RFCS had helped improve their financial situation.”

Since 2013, the Government has provided more than $1.3 billion in assistance measures to help farmers and communities in drought and the Farm Household Allowance has helped over 7,900 recipients.

Source: Australian Government