Commonwealth and State Financial Assistance

NSW Emergency Drought Relief Package

On July 2018, the NSW Government announced a $500 million Emergency Drought Relief Package Emergency Drought Relief Package to help farmers manage the effects of the current drought.

Drought Assistance Fund

The NSW Government is offering a one-off $50,000 interest-free loan to transport stock, fodder and water, genetic banking of breeding herds and installing on-farm fodder and water infrastructure.

The loans term is seven years and there are no repayments required in the first two years:

To submit a long on-line or for more information on the Drought Assistance Fund or call P: 1800 678 593.

Drought Concessional Loans

This Australian Government scheme is designed to assist farming operations that have experienced significant financial impact as a result of the drought.

Eligible businesses must have been operating for at least three years and have good long-term prospects of returning to profitable trading with sustainable debt levels.

For more information on the Drought Concessional Loans or call P: 1800 875 675.

Farm Debt Mediation

'Farm Debt Mediation' is a structured negotiation process where an accredited, independent mediator, as a neutral and independent person, assists the farmer and the creditor to communicate effectively, to resolve matters relating to farm debts, and to formalise that resolution in an agreement. 

Farmers can negotiate their farm business debt with their lender at any time and do not have to be in default or hardship.

Mediation is a simple, voluntary and confidential process that is quick, accessible and affordable. For mediator contacts or for more information on Farm Debt Mediation

Farm Household Allowance (FHA)

A payment for farming families in financial hardship.

Income support for eligible farmers and their partners for up to three years, as well as planning and training for long-term financial improvements, including:

  • Income Support Allowance,
  • A dedicated Case Management to help develop a plan for the future and address challenges facing the business and household
  • Up to $1500 to carry out a financial assessment of your farm enterprise
  • Ongoing support from the Rural Financial Counselling Service.

If you already received the FHA between 1 September and 1 December 2018 you’ll also get one or two FHA supplement lump sum payments per household.

For eligibility or to make a claim visit the Department of Human Services or call P: 132 316.

Farm Innovation Fund

The NSW Government is offering a loan scheme for capital works up to a value of $250K for infrastructure works (e.g. sheds, silos, water storage) to prepare for dry conditions, to build resilience and improve on-farm efficiency.

To submit an application or for more information on the Farm Innovation Fund or call P: 1800 678 593.

Farm Management Deposits

This Australian Government scheme helps producers deal effectively with cash flow fluctuations by building up cash reserves to meet their business cost in low-income years. Eligible producers can set aside pre-tax income from primary production in years of high income, which can be drawn on in future years.

For more information on Farm Management Deposits

Managing Farm Risk Program

Provides rebates up to $2,500 for advice and assessments to help farmers prepare and apply for a new insurance policy that assists with the management of drought and other production and market risks.

For more information on the Managing Farm Risk Program

Regional Investment Corporation Low Interest Drought Loans

The Australian Government is offering low interest loans to help farmers to help manage their business risk and to prepare for, manage through and recover from drought.

Visit the Rural Investment Corporation for more details on eligibility and loan terms.

Rebate on fixed charges for water licenses

A rebate of up to $4000 per licence will apply to the fixed components of bills for general security licence holders (and supplementary water access licence holders) in rural and regional NSW across surface and ground water systems, and customers of Irrigation Corporation Districts (ICDS) for water costs incurred.

For more information visit WaterNSW or call P: 1300 662 077.

Murrumbidgee Community Grants program

The Murrumbidgee Community Grants program is now open to support activities that support communities living with the impacts of drought with a focus on mental health and well being. Activities eligible for funding through this initiative will address immediate support needs, but also foster longer term recovery and resilience. The grant application period is ongoing for as long as funds are available or until April 2020. There will be three levels of grants available:

  • Up to $1,500.
  • $1,501 to $10,000.
  • $10,001 to $30,000.

Find out more

Tackling Tough Times Together

The Tackling Tough Times Together grant program helps communities access the resources they need to support one another through the ongoing effects of the drought.

This program is designed to provide flexible funding to support community-based activities that both help to relieve current stressors and symptoms, and most importantly, build capacity and resilience for the future. 

Grants of up to $20,000 are now available across drought-affected communities nationally. A smaller number of grants valued at up to $60,000 and $150,000 are also available for larger-scale and multi-year projects that have a broader impact. Applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis and assessed quarterly.

Find out more. 

Taxation Measure

Primary producers can immediately deduct (rather than depreciate over three years) the cost of fodder storage assets, such as silos and hay sheds used to store grain and other animal feed storage, making it easier for farmers to invest in and stockpile fodder.