House­hold as­sis­tance wel­comed

Gatton Star - - LIFE INTO RURAL -

FED­ERAL Mem­ber for Wright Scott Buch­holz has wel­comed the sim­pli­fi­ca­tion of the Farm House­hold Al­lowance form for lo­cal farm­ers.

Mr Buch­holz said it was now eas­ier for farm­ers to ap­ply for the fort­nightly Farm House­hold Al­lowance hard­ship pay­ment and lo­cal farm­ers are urged to ap­ply.

“The ap­pli­ca­tion form has been cut by a third and crit­i­cal el­i­gi­bil­ity cri­te­ria is at the front so farm­ers can iden­tify if they are el­i­gi­ble much quicker,” Mr Buch­holz said.

“Farm­ers should also re­mem­ber that a Ru­ral Fi­nan­cial Coun­sel­lor can help them fill out the form for free.

“The RFCS cur­rently has around 4000 ac­tive clients, up from the usual 3000 as the gov­ern­ment pro­vides an ex­tra $5 mil­lion to the RFCS to help meet the ex­tra de­mand.”

Mr Buch­holz said the change built on ear­lier changes in­clude ex­tend­ing FHA from three to four years, in­creas­ing the farm as­sets test el­i­gi­bil­ity thresh­old from $2.6m to $5m and pay­ing ex­tra lump sum pay­ments of up to $12,000.

Fed­eral Agri­cul­tural Min­is­ter David Lit­tleproud re­cently an­nounced an in­de­pen­dent re­view of the FHA to make sure it’s do­ing what it should, and the re­view panel is hold­ing face-to-face con­sul­ta­tions across Aus­tralia.

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