Kim Chance

Kim Chance

Minister for Agriculture and Food; Forestry; the Mid West and Wheatbelt; Great Southern

    Government provides assistance to farmers hit by heavy rains

    5/05/2005 12:00 AM

    Farmers and horticulturalists in the Great Southern who suffered stock and produce losses in the recent heavy rains will receive special assistance from the State Government.

    Agriculture Minister Kim Chance announced today he had established the 2005 Great Southern Flood Assistance Scheme under the Rural Business Development Corporation (RBDC), to be implemented by the Department of Agriculture.

    “Farmers and horticulturalists who have suffered losses as a result of the recent heavy rains will be able to apply to receive up to $1,500 to help them pay for business recovery advice,” Mr Chance said.

    “Under the scheme, farmers can claim back the costs of employing a professional agricultural consultant or accountant to assist them to look at the impact of the wet weather on their business and to assist in their planning for the future.

    “In addition, seed potato growers whose crops were damaged by flooding will be able to claim reimbursement of current seed potato inspection fees.”

    This support will be in addition to the financial counselling services already available via Southern Agcare Rural Financial Counsellors and personal counselling via the local community service offices.

    “The Department of Agriculture will work with the RBDC to establish the new scheme and will continue to provide significant on-the-ground technical assistance to affected farmers for as long as it is needed,” the Minister said.

    It is estimated that up to 100 farming businesses may be eligible for the business recovery assistance.

    These farmers and horticulturalists lost stock and produce when the Great Southern experienced torrential rains from Thursday, March 31 to Saturday, April 2. In some areas over 200mm was recorded.

    To be eligible for assistance, those affected will need to demonstrate at least a 30 per cent loss of seed potato crop or sheep flock.

    Applications for support under the scheme must be received before June 30.

    Information and advice about the assistance measures may be obtained from the Department of Agriculture via: website: Phone (08) 9368 3182; Fax (08) 9367 4267; Email; Mail to Farm Business Development, Locked Bag 4, Bentley Delivery Centre WA 6983.

    Minister's office: 9213 6700