Western Australia’s State Government is set to fast-track financial support payments to broadacre farmers who require urgent financial assistance.
Agriculture and Food Minister Ken Baston revealed the first farmers that are eligible for a financial support grant will receive an offer of payment next week, with some shires having last week already received $10,000 community support grants.
Mr Baston believes there had been strong demand for the State Government’s $7.8million assistance package.
“We have received 77applications from broadacre farm businesses for $25,000 grants which form the farm support component of the package,” he said.
“Payments are being brought forward to enable funds to flow as soon as possible, rather than wait until applications close on July 31. I urge farm businesses to apply as quickly as possible because the grants will now be administered on a first-in, first-funded basis with the scheme capped at $5million.”
The Minister revealed many applications were still being evaluated and in some cases assessors were going back to farmers seeking additional information.
Acknowledging it was a busy time for many growers with seeding under way, Mr Baston urged eligible farmers who would like to apply to contact free-call 1800 198 231.
“This will help them assess what’s involved in making an application and understand the eligibility requirements,” he said.
In a statement, WA revealed ‘Other scheme components include $1.8million towards social support and rural counselling services, including $300,000 in community support grants; and up to $1million in farm exit support grants of $20,000.’
“To date, five shires – Kellerberrin, Kulin, Corrigin, Narembeen and Yilgarn – have accepted $10,000 community support grants for events and activities which bring these communities together,” the Minister said.