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Support for primary producers

Help is available to primary producers recovering from the 2019-20 bushfires

We know people may be under pressure from single or multiple events, including bushfires, flood and drought. 

For details on mental health support, visit our mental health support page. Or call Lifeline’s dedicated bushfire recovery line on 13 HELP (13 43 57) for immediate help.

If your primary producer business is also a small business, please also read about support for small businesses

I need financial counselling

Free financial counselling

Free financial counselling is available for farmers, fishers, forest growers or harvesters and related small business owners who are having difficulties with their finances.

The government has made 60 extra counsellors available to give you free, confidential support through the Rural Financial Counselling Service (RFCS).

Rural financial counsellors can help you:

  • understand your financial position and how viable your business is 
  • identify your financial and business options
  • negotiate with your lenders
  • identify other support programs

Apply for the Farm Household Allowance. You can check if you are eligible and be referred to your nearest RFCS office by calling 1800 686 175.

For more information, visit the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment’s Rural Financial Counselling Service website.

I need money to keep my primary production business going

Support with increased forestry transport costs

Applications remain open for Forestry Transport Assistance in New South Wales through the NSW Supply Chain Support Grants – Forestry. Applications in Victoria have closed. 

$15 million is available to help with the increased costs of transporting burnt salvaged logs further distances to surviving timber mills or storage sites.

The support covers transport from bushfire-affected areas in Victoria and New South Wales.  

This assistance is being delivered through partnerships with the New South Wales and Victorian state governments. 

For more information in New South Wales call 1300 679 673, or visit the NSW Supply Chain Support Grants – Forestry website.

For further information go to Bushfire Supporting Forestry.

Recovery grants of up to $75,000 for primary producers

Applications have now closed. 

Recovery grants of up to $75,000 were available under the Emergency Bushfire Response in Primary Industries Grants Program. The Australian and state governments share the cost of this program.

These grants could be used for things like fodder and water, sheds, fencing, and agricultural equipment. They could also be used for the costs of cleaning up, salvaging and harvesting crops damaged by fire, smoke, ash and soot. 

Wine grape smoke taint grants

Applications have now closed. 

Wine grape producers could get up to $10,000 to support recovery and rebuild. This support was for businesses impacted by bushfire smoke in regions that were not eligible for bushfire recovery primary producer grants. 

You could use the grants for things like meeting business operating costs, such as utilities, salaries, and rent.

Businesses that had already received a $10,000 Small Business Bushfire Support Grant could not apply for a Wine Grape Smoke Taint Grant.

Recovery grants for apple growers 

Applications have now closed. 

Grants of up to $120,000 per hectare were available for eligible applicants. This support was to help businesses re establish apple orchards that had been damaged or destroyed. 

Grants could be used to repair or replace:

  • stock
  • damaged irrigation infrastructure
  • poles
  • trellises
  • poles
  • netting
  • trees (including apple orchards).

Support for timber-processing facilities

Applications have now closed. 

The $40 million fund is supporting timber-processing facilities that were physically damaged, or were subject to a decline in timber supply, as a result of the 2019-20 bushfires.

The fund created public-private partnerships and grants of up to $5 million were available, co-matched by industry applicants. Grants required a dollar-for-dollar financial co-contribution from industry.

Recipients of the grant were announced on 22 December 2020. View the media release here.

For more information, visit the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment's Bushfire Supporting Forestry Page.

Funding for storage facilities for fire-affected timber

Applications have now closed. 

$10 million in funding was available, provided through the COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Fund, to establish storage facilities for fire-affected timber including processed timber products, logs, and other forestry products.

The fund provides extra certainty for mills and helps businesses to plan their long-term recovery.

This assistance is being delivered through partnerships with the New South Wales and Victorian governments.

For information on this fund in each state:

For general information, visit the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment's Bushfire Supporting Forestry website.

I need a loan

Concessional Loans of up to $500,000 

Applications have now closed.

These loans were for small businesses, not-for-profits and primary producers in areas affected by the 2019-20 bushfires (areas declared Category B).

This low cost finance was to help you get back on your feet.

There are no repayments or interest for the first two years, then a concessional rate.

For more information:

My primary producer enterprise building and structure was damaged or destroyed by the bushfires

Property clean-up

Registrations remain open in New South Wales. Registrations in Victoria and South Australia have closed. 

The Australian Government is working with the New South Wales, Victorian, and South Australian Governments to share the cost of clean-up for the 2019-20 bushfires. 

This includes residential and commercial properties destroyed by the bushfires.

There is no cost to property owners for this clean-up initiative. 

Further information on the clean-up program in each state can be found by calling the following numbers or clicking on the links below: