$500 million NSW Emergency Drought Relief Package

On Monday 30 July 2018, the NSW Government announced a $500 million NSW Emergency Drought Relief Package to help farmers manage the effects of the current drought.

There are three major elements of the $500 million Emergency Drought Relief Package:
1. $190 million for Drought Transport Subsidies.
2. $110 million to cut the cost of farming by waiving fees and charges.
3. $150 million to bolster the Farm Innovation Fund (FIF) infrastructure program.

So here’s a quick overview..

Drought Transport Subsidy
– Transport subsidy of up to $20,000 per eligible farm business.
– The subsidy can cover 50% of the full cost of freight.
– The subsidy can be applied for the cost of transporting fodder, water to a property for stock, stock to and from agistment, and stock to sale or slaughter.
– The subsidy will be back-dated so farmers can access subsidies for freight expenses incurred since 1 January 2018.
– Applications to apply will not be available until Monday 6th August.

Eligibility for the Transport Subsidy
Eligible farming businesses needing assistance with incurred costs of transporting fodder, water for stock to a property, stock to and from agistment, and stock to sale or slaughter can apply.
To be eligible, primary producers must demonstrate that:
1. They are the owner and operator of a farm business in NSW.
2. The business operates as a sole trader, partnership, trust or private company and trades agricultural products. The business is registered with the Australian Taxation Office as a primary producer, and have an Australian Business Number (ABN).
3. The owners and operators of the business earn more than 50% of their gross income from the primary production enterprise under normal seasonal circumstances.
4. The business is being negatively impacted by drought conditions.
5. The owners and operators of the business do not have gross off-farm assets exceeding $1,000,000 (excluding funds in a registered superannuation fund).
6. Payments will be made on receipt of eligible tax invoices.

Waivers on government fees and charges
The $110 million to cut the cost of farming by waiving fees and charges will apply to the following costs:
1. Local land service rates.
a. The NSW Government will waive all LLS rates for all landholders in 2019, including General Rates and rates for Animal Health, Pest Animals and Pest Management, the Meat Industry Levy, and costs of Routine Stock Moving Permit and Stock Identification.
2. Fixed water charges in rural and reginal areas.
a. The fixed charge component of water licences issued by Water NSW will be waived for licence holders in rural and regional NSW.
3. Class on agriculture vehicle registrations.
a. Class 1 agricultural vehicles will be exempt from the next annual registration charge.
4. Farm innovation fund interest charges.
a. All existing Farm Innovation Fund customers, and all applicants who submitted an application on or before 30 July 2018 will have applicable interest charges for the 2017/18 financial year and 2018/19 financial year refunded.

For more information head to https://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/climate-and-emergencies/droughthub/emergency-drought-relief-package or feel free to give us a call if you wish to discuss your eligibility!

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