The NSW Government has today announced it is making it easier for farmers to access the Drought Transport Subsidies and the Drought Assistance Fund by relaxing the gross off-farm asset test.

The Member for Oxley, Melinda Pavey MP, said the current criteria is being lifted from a $1 million off-farm assets cap to a $5 million cap, which means more farmers will now be eligible to access drought assistance.

“This change acknowledges the efforts of farmers who have diversified their assets, but understandably still need help during these tough times,” Mrs Pavey said.

“Even though our seasonal conditions on the mid-north coast are far better than in inland NSW, the prices local farmers have to pay for supplementary feeds, especially grain, are sky-high, which is impacting our dairy farmers hard.

“I am pleased to be part of a Government that stands with our farmers and continues to assess the drought relief package to ensure we are delivering support.”

“As part of this, a new set of criteria has been created for people who have recently established an agricultural business; this means that new entrants, including many young farmers, will now have greater access to Government assistance,” Mrs Pavey said.

The Government is also making it easier to get help to complete and submit drought support applications, with LLS and Service NSW offices now providing assistance.

“Further, the Rural Assistance Authority (RAA) is now open until 10 pm weeknights to take phone calls from farmers.”

“These changes will ensure farmers can access the support they need and receive their subsidy payments as quickly as possible.”

The NSW Government Emergency Drought Relief package provides more than $1 billion in drought relief measures.

For more information visit www.droughthub.nsw.gov.au