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Amery announces drought eligibility criteria.



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AGRICULTURE MEDIA RELEASES

8 August 2002

AMERY ANNOUNCES DROUGHT ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

Minister for Agriculture Richard Amery today released eligibility criteria for the NSW Government's drought assistance measures as outlined at the Roundtable in Dubbo on July 29.

The Minister made the announcement while releasing the latest drought seasonal conditions map at a meeting with NSW Farmers' Association and Ivanhoe Rural Lands Protection Board representatives in Ivanhoe in western NSW - indicating that 82 per cent of the state was now in drought.

The eligibility criteria were developed in close consultation with the NSW Farmers' Association.

"Following the Dubbo Drought Roundtable hosted by Member for Dubbo Tony McGrane, there was general agreement that producers should be eligible for drought assistance after six months of drought," Mr Amery said.

"I can confirm that after six months in drought producers will be able to access subsidies for:

- the transport of water for domestic purposes;

- the transport of fodder to feed drought affected stock;

- the transport of stock to slaughter;

- the transport of water for drought affected stock;

- the transport of stock to and from agistment.

"I can further announce that the cap on this assistance has been increased to $20,000 per farm, up from $15,000 under the old transactional subsidy system.

"In addition, farmers may claim up to $5,000 in any calendar year for subsidies for the transport of water for domestic purposes.

A detailed list of further eligibility criteria follows:

 

SEASONAL REPORT

The continuing dry weather and heavy frosts have resulted in an increase in the area of the state experiencing drought conditions.

"The latest information from Rural Land Protection Boards (RLPBs) shows 82 percent of NSW is now experiencing drought conditions," Mr Amery said.

"This figure has increased by 16 percent from last month's figure of 66 percent, while another 10 percent of the state is experiencing marginal drought conditions.

"With just eight percent of NSW experiencing satisfactory conditions, it is obviously a situation of real concern for the rural sector."

Mr Amery said that although parts of the southern and central slopes had received decent rainfall in recent days - which would not be reflected in the August drought map - these falls would be of only minor assistance due to heavy frost conditions.

The areas most affected in recent weeks include the northern tablelands, north coast, central tablelands, Wagga Wagga, Molong and Forbes RLPB regions.

Mr Amery said heavy frosts had been of particular concern in the northern part of the state, with recordings of temperatures as low as minus12 degrees.

"These conditions have increased the maintenance requirements of livestock, and as a result, many producers have been forced into handfeeding or looking for agistment," he said.

"Fodder is increasing in price, and is only available in limited quantities, while agistment opportunities have also decreased significantly."

Mr Amery said the weather conditions were also having a major impact on this year's cropping prospects.

"Crops that were put in early are holding up well in some areas," he said.

"However, late crops planted on inadequate moisture and with inadequate preparation, are showing the impact of the dry, frosty weather, and some landholders are now grazing these off."

"NSW Agriculture staff continue to work closely with affected producers through drought information workshops, and by distributing information via the drought website and drought information hotline," he said.

The drought information phone number is 1800 814 647 and the drought website can be accessed at www.agric.nsw.gov.au/reader/4439

The latest drought map can be accessed on NSW Agriculture's website at www.agric.nsw.gov.au/climate/ rain/drarea

 

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA FOR THE DROUGHT TRANSPORT SUBSIDY SCHEME

 

Owners of stock may be eligible for a 50% subsidy on:

- the transport of water for domestic purposes

- the transport of fodder to feed drought affected stock

- the transport of stock to slaughter

- the transport of water for drought affected stock

- the transport of stock to and from agistment

 

GENERAL

Claimants in all cases must own the stock. They must have a property identification code (PIC) and the majority of income must come from primary production.

Claims must be submitted within 6 months of the movement-taking place.

The maximum subsidy that can be claimed by any one holding for animal related subsidies is $20,000 in a calendar year.

In addition to this holdings may claim up to $5,000 in any calendar year for subsidies for the transport of water for domestic purposes.

The maximum subsidies apply to a farming unit as determined by the NSW Rural Assistance Authority, and do not allow the splitting of partnerships.

For a Board to be eligible for assistance as a whole, at least 50% of the Board area must be drought affected

according to the NSW Agriculture status criteria.

An area less than 50% of the Board may be eligible if a clearly defined boundary can be determined for the area.

The holding must be in a drought-affected area as approved by Government for at least 6 months.

Costs of transportation must be paid prior to lodging a claim for the subsidy.

The maximum distance per loaded journey is 1500km.

Claims to be made through the local Rural Lands Protection Board.

As a general rule the following rates per kilometre should be used for the various classes of the transport when making a claim:

- 1-3 tonne capacity 80c to $1.50 per km

- 3-8 tonne capacity $1.50 to $2.20 per km

- 8 tonne or more capacity $2.20 to $3.30 per km

 

Eligibility criteria for water subsidy:

· Subsidy for the transport of water is only available if water is carted from the nearest practicable source.

· Subsidy will only be paid on a minimum of 1000 litres per load and 1000 litres per household per day.

· The transport of water within a holding is permitted as long as the distance is 15km or greater.

Eligibility criteria for stock to slaughter subsidy:

· The subsidy for transport is only paid to the nearest practicable saleyard or abattoir.

· Subsidies are only available on drought movements relating to grazing sheep, cattle, goats, deer and working horses. Subsidies are not available for piggeries. Apiaries, orchardists, nurseries or any intensive industries.

· The stock must be owned by the claimant for at least 6 months preceding the date of movement to the saleyard or abattoir.

· Prior to the movement of stock the property must not be carrying more than its assessed carrying capacity.

· The property from which the stock were transported must be owned or leased by the owner of the stock, and the stock were depastured thereon for 3 calendar months prior to the date of movement.

· The minimum load must be equivalent to 100 dry sheep equivalents (DSE).

Eligibility criteria for stock to agistment

· Subsidies are available for the forward and return journeys.

· Subsidies are also available for transport of stock from one area of agistment to another if the owner is forced to move the stock off the agistment property.

· The stock must be held at the point of destination for 8 weeks before the owner can lodge a claim.

· The stockowner must have no prior arrangement / agreement or contract to sell or otherwise dispose of the stock to the owner of the agistment property.

· Movement of stock to custom feedlots are eligible if such movements are not normal.

· Stockowners who take agistment stock onto their properties are not eligible for subsidy on their own stock movements away from the property.

· Prior to the movement of the stock the property must not be carrying more than its assessed carrying capacity.

· Subsidies are only available on drought movements relating to grazing sheep, cattle, goats, deer and working horses.

· Subsidies apply to core breeding stock only.

· The stock must be owned by the claimant for at least 6 months preceding the date of movement to the saleyard or abattoir.

· The property from which the stock were transported must be owned or leased by the owner of the stock, and the stock were depastured thereon for 3 calendar months prior to the date of movement.

· The minimum load must be equivalent to 100 dry sheep equivalents (DSE).

 

Eligibility criteria for fodder freight subsidies

· The stock must be owned by the claimant for at least 6 months preceding the date of the movement of the fodder.

· Subsidies are payable on freight related to drought fodder movement, such movement is to a landholders property, a travelling stock reserve.

· No subsidies paid for loads of fodder weighing less than 1 tonne.

· Commercial feedlots where stocks are purchased fattened and sold are ineligible. However, stock running on a property when it becomes drought affected can feed in opportunity feedlots for maintenance or fattening for sale with the freight subsidy applying.

· Producers who sell fodder forfeit the right to claim fodder transport subsidies.

· Subsidies apply to core breeding stock only.

· Prior to the movement of the fodder the property must not have been carrying more than its assessed carrying capacity.

 

Eligibility criteria for water cartage for stock purposes

· The stock must be owned by the claimant for at least 6 months preceding the date of the movement of water.

Minimum load of water is 1 tonne. ● Water cartage to stock on a travelling stock reserve or agistment property is eligible for subsidy, intensive piggeries and poultry farms are not eligible for assistance. ●

Subsidy for the transport of water is only available if the water is carted from the nearest practical source. ●

· Subsidies apply to core breeding stock only.

Media contacts: Luke Mellare on 9372 0123 or 0428 212 377

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