Media Release

Supporting drought affected farmers

26 February 2014

Joint Media Release

The Hon. Tony Abbott MP, Prime Minister
The Hon. Barnaby Joyce MP, Minister for Agriculture

Australian farmers suffering through the crippling drought will be able to access greater government assistance sooner as part of a $320 million comprehensive drought support package.

The Government will bring forward more generous income support arrangements for farmers and their families; extend concessional loans to eligible drought affected farm businesses; provide funds for water infrastructure and pest eradication; as well as funds for counselling support services for farmers.

Farming is a very significant part of our economy and will play a critical role in our economic future.

This is a government determined to stand by the people of Australia in good times and bad.

As part of the package:

  • More generous criteria for accessing income support will be made available to farmers from 3 March 2014 instead of 1 July 2014.
  • Drought Concessional Loans totalling $280 million will be allocated to give eligible farm businesses the resources to recover from the effects of drought.
  • To assist drought affected farms to access water, $12 million will be added to existing emergency water infrastructure schemes, including supplementing those in NSW and Queensland.
  • $10 million in assistance will be available for pest management in drought affected areas.
  • $10.7 million will help increase access to social and mental health services in communities affected by this drought.

Farm businesses and farm families across Australia are suffering financially and emotionally as a result of the prolonged drought.

This drought assistance package is to support farm businesses, families and communities that are experiencing hardship and to help them recover when the current drought ends.

Drought support for farmers fact sheet