Financial assistance

The South Australian Guide for Drought Assistance (PDF 932.6 KB), explains what funding and assistance is available for South Australian farmers.

Council Rate Rebate

Primary producers facing hardship can access a rebate on local council rates through the Council Rate Rebate.

The rebate is open to all eligible South Australian drought affected primary producers approved for Farm Household Allowance and will offer a 50% rebate (or maximum $7,500) on council rates.

Guidelines and application forms

Eligibility

The rebate is open to all eligible South Australian primary producers approved for Farm Household Allowance.

Contact

For more information and to discuss your application contact:

Pastoral Lease Rent Rebate

Financial assistance is available to pastoralists facing hardship through the Pastoral Lease Rent Rebate.

The rebate is open to all eligible South Australian primary producers approved for Farm Household Allowance and will offer a 50% rebate (or maximum of $3 500) on pastoral lease rent.

Guidelines and application forms

Eligibility

The rebate is open to all eligible South Australian primary producers approved for Farm Household Allowance.

Contact

For more information and to discuss your application contact:

On-Farm Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate Scheme

The South Australian Government will match Commonwealth Government funding for the On-Farm Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate Scheme to drought affected farmers who invest in urgently-needed on-farm water infrastructure.

Eligible farmers can now access a 50% rebate – or up to $50,000 – on new water infrastructure purchases and installation costs for on-farm water infrastructure to help provide water to livestock or permanent horticulture plantings in the current drought and better improve drought resilience.

Find out if you are eligible and how to apply.

SA - Country Women’s Association - $3000 Grants

The South Australian Country Women’s Association (SACWA) is working with Australian Red Cross and Rural Business Support to provide financial assistance of up to $3,000 to farmers in drought affected regions of the state.

Any farming or rural families in South Australia, seeking assistance can discuss eligibility and the application process by calling Rural Business Support on 1800 836 211 or email admin@ruralbusinesssupport.org.au.

Buy-A-Bale/Rural Aid

Rural-Aid and Buy-A-Bale are now delivering much-welcomed support in the form of hay and fodder drops, as well as financial assistance to drought-affected farmers and communities in South Australia.  To register for support go to Buy-A-Bale.

If you want to donate to any of these very worthy charities and support their efforts go to our Donations and Appeals page.

Additional business and financial assistance can also be found through the following services and programs:

Australian Taxation Office advice

Phone:  ATO Hotline 13 11 42
Go to drought help section of ATO website

The ATO offers financial hardship assistance related to repaying income tax or prioritising activity statement refunds.

The Federal Government also announced changes to the accelerated depreciation to encourage investment in drought preparedness.

These measures include:

  • Accelerated depreciation of water facilities over 1 year (previously 3 years).
  • Accelerated depreciation of fodder infrastructure storage over 3 years (previously up to 50 years).
  • Accelerated depreciation of fencing over 1 year (previously up to 30 years).

More advice on tax options and federal government assistance is available on this Supporting Farmers and Rural Communities Fact Sheet (PDF 1.0 MB).

Farm Debt Mediation

Office of the Small Business Commissioner
Phone: (08) 8303 2026 or 1800 702 722
Go to Small Business Commissioner website

The new Farm Debt Mediation Bill enforces a mandatory mediation process before a creditor is able to foreclose on a farming operation. The legislation ensures South Australia’s farmers will be better protected and have greater financial security.

There is a fee of $195 for each mediation applied.

Farm Household Allowance (FHA)

Phone: Farmer Assistance Hotline on 132 316
Go to Federal Government's drought assistance page

The Farm Household Allowance (FHA) provides eligible farmers and their partners who are experiencing financial hardship with assistance and support to improve their long-term financial situation. The Federal Government recently announced changes to the FHA, which may benefit your farming family.

Rural Business Support can help eligible families access their FHA entitlements or provide more information. You can call them on 1800 836 211.

Farm Management Deposits (FMD)

Phone: For Australian Taxation Office business tax enquiries phone 13 28 66
Go to the farm management deposits scheme page

The FMD Scheme assists primary producers to deal more effectively with varying income.

The scheme allows eligible primary producers to set aside pre-tax income from primary production in years of high income, which they can draw on in years of low income.  Income deposited into an FMD account is tax deductible in the year the deposit is made. It becomes taxable income in the year in which it is withdrawn.

Legal assistance

Legal Advice Line

Phone: 1300 366 424 (local call costs except for mobiles)
Go to Legal Services Commission of SA website

Free telephone legal advice is available for preliminary information, advice and referrals.

Legal Aid

Phone: 1300 366 424 (local call costs except for mobiles)
Go to Legal Services Commission of SA website

When services beyond simple legal advice are needed, the Legal Services Commission of South Australia can arrange a Legal Aid grant to be paid direct to a lawyer to cover legal costs. However, if legal aid is granted, you will have to pay a contribution towards your legal costs, depending on what you can afford.

Loans for farmers

The Regional Investment Corporation (RIC) provide low interest loans with no fees of up to $2 million, and available to apply anytime. From January 2020, the RIC will offer these loans as two years interest free.  Loans are aimed at supporting farming businesses to prepare for, manage through or recover from drought.

The RIC also now offer Small Business Drought loan for amounts of up to $500,000. The first two years will be no interest and no repayment, followed by three years interest-only and then five years principal and interest.

More information at Regional Investment Corporation.

Multi-Peril Crop Insurance

South Australia recently waived the stamp duty fees on multi-peril crop insurance – which can reduce the cost by several thousand dollars. Multi-peril crop insurance covers production costs incurred by farmers if their crop fails due to a nominated peril – which in South Australia includes drought.  For more advice reach out to your local Rural Financial Counsellor or agriculture/business consultant.

Telecommunication Bill Assistance

Contact your telecommunication services directly or a Rural Financial Counsellor to assist with negotiations. All telecommunications services have hardship policies to allow people who are doing it tough to negotiate payment arrangements. Most will provide flexibility with the following;

  • Long term payment arrangements
  • Reviewing and removing administrative fees
  • Placing customers on more affordable plans
  • Conversion to pre-paid services
  • Allowing incoming and emergency calls only to fixed lines.
Page Last Reviewed: 10 Dec 2019
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