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Improvements to the Farm Household Allowance (FHA) introduced by the Australian Government will help more farmers across the region through tough times including the current drought.

Member for Calare, Andrew Gee, said the government had listened to local farmers and was increasing support through the FHA.

“The FHA changes extend farming families’ access the FHA from three years in their lifetime to four years out of every 10, recognising that farmers experience hardships, including droughts, more than once in their lives,” Mr Gee said.

“Other changes will lift the amount families can earn off-farm to $100,000 a year in recognition of the reality that much of the income earned off-farm goes straight to servicing debt rather than putting food on the table.“A one-off drought relief payment of up to $13,000 for a farming family, and up to $7500 for an individual, is designed to help our farmers,” he added.

“The government realises that in a country of extremes they may need to access FHA more than once in their lives. We don’t want our local farmers to have to worry about how they’re going to pay the next bill.”

Mr Gee said the Australian Government is delivering these improvements as soon as possible to make sure farmers and their families can continue access much needed support.

“Our government is continuing to listen to our farmers and our community to deliver support tailored to the needs of rural and regional Australia,” Mr Gee stressed.

The FHA has been supporting Australian farmers since July 2014. It has paid more than $365 million to around 12,700 recipients in that time.