Monty House

Monty House


    Seasonal Committee's work goes on

    8/01/2001 8:05 PM

    Primary Industry Minister Monty House’s Seasonal Committee is continuing to pursue initiatives to assist farmers across the agricultural region affected by adverse seasonal conditions.

    The Seasonal Committee, chaired by retired MLC Eric Charlton, had its latest meeting on Friday, where the focus of the discussion was on maintaining rural families’ access to education.

    Representatives from the Mid-South coast addressed the meeting, highlighting the impact adverse seasonal conditions had had on sending children away to school.

    “There have been several reports of families that are either unable to continue their child’s education because of financial restraints and of families moving away in an effort to maintain their children’s education,” Mr House said.

    “This situation is not only placing pressure on rural families, but also on local communities which are reeling from the loss of these families.”

    Mr Charlton said while $5000 to $6000 in combined State and Federal assistance was available to help educate children away from home, some assistance was restricted by geographic location.

    “The Seasonal Committee is working with several State and Federal agencies and other community bodies to explore additional means to relieve the financial pressure of education on families hit by adverse seasons,” he said.

    Mr Charlton said the State’s application for Exceptional Circumstances (EC) assistance from the Federal Government was now 98 per cent complete.

    “A comprehensive application has been prepared to maximise the opportunity for EC assistance for those in a specific area of the Mid-South coast who are desperately in need of support,” Mr House said.

    “In addition to the EC application, an application for Special Assistance is now 80 per cent complete, which, if successful, would be available to properties in the broader agricultural region.”

    A decision on the applications is expected from Federal Agriculture Minister Warren Truss at the end of January, at the earliest.

    Meanwhile, up to $5000 worth of financial assistance from the State Government’s Support Package is available to farmers to assist with stock agistment, feedlot operations, soil testing and dam construction or repair.

    A $400 rebate is also available for water carting for both domestic or stock use.

    Farmers can also reassess their budgets and direction for the future by accessing the free Family Farm Business Review.

    Application forms are available from AGWEST offices, the AGWEST website or by telephoning the Season Solutions Hotline on 1800 198 231, which can also provide guidance to applicants.

    Media contact: Peter Jackson 9481-2044