Barnaby Joyce

Second round of drought measures to support farmers

20 Aug 2018

Farmers across the New England North West facing drought will have access to a second round of direct assistance and concessional loans taking the total Coalition Government assistance to $1.8 billion.


The assistance includes new tax breaks, low-interest loans, water security in the Great Artesian Basin and simplifying the application form for Farm Household Allowance.


Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce, said farmers will be able to immediately deduct the cost of fodder storage assets, rather than depreciate over three years.


“I’ve been fighting for more support for local farmers in my electorate who I know have been doing it tough and now we have more assistance on the way,” Mr Joyce said.


“Changes will make it easier for farmers to invest in and stockpile fodder including storage tanks, silos, bins and hay sheds totalling $75 million over four years.


“The government is increasing the amount of money a farmer can borrow in a concessional loan from the Regional Investment Corporation from $1 million to $2 million. These low interest loans refinanced from a commercial rate loan could save a farmer tens of thousands of dollars.


“We are also increasing the amount available for farmers to borrow in low interest loans from $250 million to $500 million.


“A special drought round under the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund will deliver $72 million for water infrastructure in drought-affected areas.


“$2.7 million has been delivered to ensure farmers can make better weather predictions in their local area to help farmers prepare their business for variations of weather conditions.”


Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud said the government was delivering $23.7 million to improve drought resilience in the Great Artesian Basin.


“We continue to listen to our farmers and adjust policy as this drought goes on,” Minister Littleproud said.


Last month, the Coalition announced $190 million in measures including an FHA boost payment of $12,000 per couple, bringing this year’s assistance to $37,000, and a $7200 boost for singles, bringing this year’s assistance to $22,000.


Federal drought assistance delivered so far:

***** For further information on the application process call the Rural Assistance Authority 1800 678 593 or visit 

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