Extra support for farmers in Bundaberg
Centrelink’s Bundaberg Service Centre is opening its doors on Saturday 20 October to provide additional support to farmers affected by drought.
Staff from the Department of Human Services will be on hand from 10am to 12pm to provide farmers with personalised assistance to complete their Farm Household Allowance (FHA) claims and to connect them with other services they may be eligible to access.
Minister for Human Services Michael Keenan said helping communities battling the drought was a high-priority for the Morrison Government and farmers attending on Saturday can expect to receive ongoing support while the crisis continues.
“The support won’t end on the day – our network of Farm Household Case Officers provide ongoing assistance for FHA recipients to help them access other support services and develop action plans to get their farm business back on track,” Minister Keenan said.
“They will also help farmers to register for online services available through myGov so they can easily keep in touch with the Department, or even upload important documents without the need to call or visit a service centre.”
As well as Farm Household Case Officers, a Rural Financial Counsellor will also be available to offer free financial counselling and business tips.
Federal Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt said Saturday’s event would be a valuable opportunity for farmers to learn more about the support on offer to help them through the hard times.
“The drought is severely affecting a number of communities, so we want to make sure local farmers have all their questions answered and can go away with a strong understanding of what assistance they may be eligible for from the department,” Mr Pitt said.
“The FHA claim form was recently simplified and the easiest way to apply is online. I strongly encourage local farmers to gather their paperwork and go along on Saturday, to receive personalised assistance from specialist staff and have their FHA questions answered.”
In August, the Australian Government announced additional lump sum payments for FHA recipients to help them through this extraordinary drought.
Two lump sum payments are available for eligible households, worth up to a combined $12,000. Payment of the first lump sum commenced from 1 September 2018 and the second payment is scheduled for 1 March 2019.
Farmers and their partners can apply for FHA. However, farmers need to lodge a FHA claim before 1 December 2018 in order to be eligible for the first FHA lump sum payment. Claims lodged after 2 December 2018 may only qualify a farmer to receive the second supplement payment.
Further information can be found at humanservices.gov.au/farmhouseholdallowance
Farm Household Allowance information session location:
Bundaberg Service Centre
Saturday 20 October 2018
10am to 12pm
Located at 26 Woongarra Street, Bundaberg, Qld