If you are in immediate danger, please call Triple Zero (000)

Assistance for Primary Producers affected by the Bushfires factsheet

As at 5 March 2020

Resist ‘self-assessment’ for your eligibility for primary producer support measures. Instead, talk to the relevant provider.

Primary Producers recovery grants

These grants are cost-shared with the States and can be used for everything from fodder and water, sheds, fencing and agricultural equipment, where those needs are not covered by an existing insurance policy. The grants can also be used for the costs of cleaning up and harvesting damaged crops. The $75,000 grant includes the $15,000 grant available to primary producers under Category C arrangements.

To be eligible, you must:

  • earn more than 50 per cent of your income from primary production
  • spend part of your labour on primary production
  • have been carrying on your business at the time of the fires
  • not be a corporation.

If you don’t earn more than 50 per cent of your income from primary production, you may still be eligible if:

  • you can show you will earn 50 per cent of your income from primary production within 3 years, or
  • you can show you would ordinarily earn more than 50 per cent of your income from primary production but this has been affected by drought, or is due to longlead times to full production and
  • in both cases, you earn less than $100,000 in “off-farm” income.

Farmers, fishers, private foresters and beekeepers will all be eligible to apply.

Should an initial application be for less than the maximum grant amount, additional applications may be submitted.

For more information on the Emergency Bushfire Response - Primary Industries Grants Program, contact:

NSW 1800 678 593 or visit www.raa.nsw.gov.au

QLD 1800 623 946 or visit www.qrida.qld.gov.au

SA 1800 931 314 or visit www.pir.sa.gov.au

VIC 1800 260 425 or visit www.ruralfinance.com.au

Emergency agriculture response

The Australian Government is working with states to help provide the emergency agriculture response. This includes providing expert responses to assist with field assessments of livestock.

If a primary producer has been affected by fires and have concerns about livestock they can contact the relevant State Government hotline.

NSW Agriculture Animal Services Hotline: 1300 795 299

Victorian: 136 186

South Australia: 1800 255 556

Farm Management Deposits

Primary producers affected by natural disasters can withdraw their Farm Management Deposits within the first 12 months of deposit without losing any claimed taxation benefits (deductions) if they have received primary producer Category C recovery assistance under the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements. To find out if this applies to you, call 1800 900 090.

Rural Financial Counselling Service

60 additional counsellors have been made available to provide free, confidential support. Rural financial counsellors can help you understand your financial position and the viability of your enterprise as well as:

  • identify your financial and business options
  • negotiate with your lenders
  • identify other assistance schemes
  • apply for Farm Household Allowance.

Check your eligibility and be referred to your nearest RFSC office by calling on 1800 686 175.

Mental Health Support

Front line emergency distress and trauma counselling is available now. You can access up to 10 free mental health support sessions as an individual, family or emergency service personnel.

Contact your GP to find mental health support in your local area that meets your needs.

For immediate support, you can contact:

Lifeline Australia 13 11 14 | www.lifeline.org.au.

Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800 | www.kidshelpline.com.au.

New assistance measures have been introduced including free distress and trauma counselling sessions (available for individuals and families and emergency services personnel affected by bushfires). You can be connected to this free counselling through:

  • Recovery centres and evacuation centres
  • Mental health services commissioned by Primary Health Networks (PHNs)
  • Existing mental health counselling hotlines, including Lifeline and Kids Helpline

Bushfire affected individuals and families, and emergency response personnel will also be eligible to receive Medicare rebates for up to 10 psychological therapy sessions through GPs, psychologists and other mental health professionals. To find out more about the services please speak to your GP, or visit www.health.gov.au

Emergency relief through charities

The Australian Government has provided $40 million to charities to help deliver emergency relief to bushfire affected communities, such as food parcels, clothing, vouchers and cash payments.

For relief through charities, you can call:

The Salvation Army Disasters Assistance team 1300 662 217

Anglicare 1300 111 278

St Vincent de Paul bushfire assistance team 13 18 12.

BlazeAid www.blazeaid.com.au

BlaizAid is a volunteer-based organisation that works with families and individuals in rural Australia after natural disasters such as fires and flood.

Key Contacts

National

Contact name Contact number
Disaster Recovery Payment and Allowance 180 22 66
Advance Payment and Additional Child Care Assistance 180 22 66
Rural Financial Counselling Service 1800 686 175
Primary Industries Grants Program National Hotline 1800 900 090
Debt recovery 1800 076 072
ATO Emergency Support Infoline 1800 806 218
Cashless Debt Card 1800 252 604
Support for Carers 1800 052 222
A/H 1800 059 059
National Debt Helpline 1800 007 007
Salvation Army Disasters Assistance 1300 662 217
St Vincent de Paul bushfire assistance team 13 18 12
Lifeline 13 43 57
Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800

NSW

Contact name Contact number
Service NSW 13 77 88
Primary Industries Grants NSW 1800 678 593

VIC

Contact name Contact number
Vic Emergency Hotline 1800 226 226
Bushfire Recovery Victoria 1800 560 760
Primary Industries Grants VIC 1800 260 425

SA

Contact name Contact number
SA recovery hotline 1800 302 787
Small Business Bushfire Recovery Grant (SA) (08) 8429 3242
SA Agriculture 1800 255 556
Primary Industries Grants SA 1800 931 314

QLD

Contact name Contact number
QLD disaster and alerts 132 500
Primary Industries Grants QLD 1800 623 946