Primary Industry Minister Monty House today welcomed the Federal Government’s announcement to support Western Australia’s Exceptional Circumstances submission.
Mr House said that the $31.5 million financial assistance package would provide interest rate subsidies, income support payments, a health care card and concessions under the Youth Allowance means test.
WA farmers in the shires of Lake Grace (total shire), and parts of Kulin, Dumbleyung, Kent, Gnowangerup, Jerramungup and Ravensthorpe will benefit from the submission.
“The Federal support package complements the State Governments commitment to farmers affected by adverse seasonal conditions which includes a multi-million dollar assistance scheme to provide grants for stock agistment, soil testing, pasture programs and an extensive locust eradication program,” Mr House said.
“Support for farmers doing budget planning are able to access a free business appraisal through the Farm Family Business Review Program.
“In addition, the establishment of a Seasonal Solutions Hotline has been valuable to farmers seeking information and assistance on a range of issues.”
The Government’s commitment to maintain grain freight rates for the 2000-2001 harvest has provided decreased operational costs for farmers.
Mr House said he was pleased with the Exceptional Circumstances support, however it was the first step in a two part process with a decision yet to be made on the Special Assistance Package.
“I encourage my WA Federal counterparts to fight for support for the Special Assistance package so that additional farmers outside the Exceptional Circumstances boundaries are given a fair go,” the Minister said.
He thanked the efforts of the Seasonal Advisory Committee, chaired by Eric Charlton, and its members for their efforts in supporting and contributing to the Exceptional Circumstances and Special Assistance submissions to the Federal Government.
Media contact: Julie Cole 9481 2044