The NSW Government has today announced it is making it easier for farmers and their families to access the Drought Transport Subsidies and the Drought Assistance Fund by relaxing the gross off-farm asset test.

Member for Murray Austin Evans said the current criteria is being lifted from a $1 million off-farm assets to $5 million, which means more farmers will now be eligible to access drought assistance.

“This change acknowledges the efforts of farmers who have diversified their assets, but understandably still need help during these tough times,” Mr Evans said.

“I am pleased to be part of a Government that stands with our farmers and continues to assess its drought relief package to ensure we are delivering the right support at the right time.”

Mr Evans said criteria for ‘new entrants’ have also been created within the Government’s drought assistance guidelines to support farmers who are new the industry.

“New entrants, including many young farmers, will now have greater access to Government assistance which will be particularly beneficial as they establish their businesses,” he said.

In addition to amending the access criteria, the Government is also making it easier for farmers to get help accessing and submitting drought support applications, with Local Land Services offices now providing this assistance.

Farmers in the region can now visit their local LLS Office for assistance. Go to www.riverina.lls.nsw.gov.au/emergency/drought  for LLS location information.

In addition, the Rural Assistance Authority (RAA) is now open until 10 pm weeknights, allowing farmers who have been out in the paddocks all day a greater opportunity to seek support.

Department of Primary Industries (DPI) research stations and Service NSW offices can also provide assistance regarding drought support applications. To find a local Service NSW centre, visit https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/service-centre

The NSW Government Emergency Drought Relief package provides more than $1 billion in drought relief measures, for more information visit www.droughthub.nsw.gov.au