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Better FHA support for Victorian farmers

  • Improvements to FHA access and support commence today
  • These changes continue the FHA reforms underway since the 2018 FHA Review
  • FHA reforms will be complete on 1 July 2020 when the Business Income Reconciliation process is removed

The Australian Government has implemented new measures to improve the Farm Household Allowance (FHA) program. This makes the FHA payment simpler to access and improves the support available to farmers and their families in Victoria.

Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management David Littleproud and Senator for Victoria Senator Sarah Henderson said changes to FHA over the last year bring more certainty to farmers and their partners around the support they can access during difficult circumstances.

“Since the 2018 FHA Review, my department has been implementing the recommendations of a farmer-led panel to modernise and streamline the FHA program,” Minister Littleproud said.

“We’re serious about walking the talk when it comes to backing farmers.

“Providing them with the right support in times of hardship is essential to the continued strength of our agricultural sector.”

Senator Henderson said the changes would be welcomed in Victoria, particularly for those now affected by the difficult conditions of 2020.

“It’s encouraging to Victorian farmers that the Government listened to local and regional concerns to improve the FHA.

“For example, the assets test has been simplified it to a single threshold of $5.5 million and there won’t be any differentiation between farm and non-farm assets.

“Instead of fluctuating payments, people whose income is under the limit will now have the certainty of being paid at the full rate automatically.

“Farmers and their partners will now have access to a $10,000 Activity Supplement to get independent expert advice, undertake training, or gain new skills and qualifications—and funds aren’t limited to farming. Any activity that can boost income will be considered.

“These are all changes that can help farmers and their partners on their path to recovery.”

12 June 2020

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