​Media Release

Review of Farm Household Allowance begins​

19 September 2018

  • Review to make sure FHA is supporting farmers in hardship as well as possible
  • Review's terms of reference finalised and an expert panel selected
  • Minister today met with the expert panel selected to perform the review

A review of Farm Household Allowance (FHA) has begun to make sure the hardship payment is supporting farmers as well as possible and to see if there ways to improve it.

The review's terms of reference have been finalised and an expert panel has been selected.

Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud today met with the expert panel to drive home the importance of this policy and the need to get it right.

"This has never been a set and forget policy," Minister Littleproud said.

​"It makes sense to review things and make sure they're doing the best job they can. It's time we got under the bonnet of the FHA and had a good look."

The panel members are:

  • Mrs Michele Lawrence (Chair), member of the Agricultural Industry Advisory Council and dairy farmer, Tasmania;
  • Ms Georgie Somerset, Deputy Chair of Agforce and cattle farmer, Queensland; and
  • Professor Robert Slonim, Professor of Economics at the University of Sydney and former director of the Australian Government's Behavioural Economics Team, NSW.

The panel will run a public submission process to ensure all interested stakeholders can participate, and make recommendations to Government in the first half of 2019.

"The government is also is getting on with helping farmers in hardship access the FHA now by extending the FHA from three to four years and simplifying the application form," Minister Littleproud said.

"The assets test eligibility threshold has increased from $2.6 million to $5 million and we are paying supplementary lump sum payments of up to $12,000.

"We've committed more than $77 million to the RFCS program to June 2020, including $17 million to extend the 12 national RFCS providers' contracts and a further $8.4 million to meet additional demand."

For more information, visit: http://www.agriculture.gov.au/ag-farm-food/drought/assistance/farm-household-allowance/review

Fast facts

  • The FHA was brought in by the government in 2014.
  • FHA (including Interim FHA) has expended $231.1 million in assistance to more than 8200 farmers and their partners between 1 March 2014 and 31 August 2018. ​