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Farm Household Support Amendment Bill 2004

 

 

 

 

 

 

Farm Household Support Amendment Act 2004

 

No. 70, 2004

 

 

 

 

 

An Act to amend the Farm Household Support Act 1992 , and for related purposes

   

   



Contents

1............ Short title............................................................................................ 1

2............ Commencement.................................................................................. 2

3............ Schedule(s).......................................................................................... 2

Schedule 1—Extending the farm help income support scheme                     3

Farm Household Support Act 1992                                                                          3

Schedule 2—Changes to farm help scheme                                                              4

Part 1—Main amendments                                                                                             4

Farm Household Support Act 1992                                                                          4

Part 2—Consequential amendments                                                                         11

Farm Household Support Act 1992                                                                        11

Part 3—Application and saving provisions                                                             12

 



 

 

Farm Household Support Amendment Act 2004

No. 70, 2004

 

 

 

An Act to amend the Farm Household Support Act 1992 , and for related purposes

[ Assented to 23 June 2004 ]

The Parliament of Australia enacts:

1   Short title

                   This Act may be cited as the Farm Household Support Amendment Act 2004 .

2   Commencement

             (1)  Each provision of this Act specified in column 1 of the table commences, or is taken to have commenced, in accordance with column 2 of the table. Any other statement in column 2 has effect according to its terms.

 

Commencement information

Column 1

Column 2

Column 3

Provision(s)

Commencement

Date/Details

1.  Sections 1 to 3 and anything in this Act not elsewhere covered by this table

The day on which this Act receives the Royal Assent.

23 June 2004

2.  Schedule 1

1 July 2004.

1 July 2004

3.  Schedule 2

A single day to be fixed by Proclamation.

However, if any of the provision(s) do not commence within the period of 6 months beginning on the day on which this Act receives the Royal Assent, they commence on the first day after the end of that period.

 

Note:          This table relates only to the provisions of this Act as originally passed by the Parliament and assented to. It will not be expanded to deal with provisions inserted in this Act after assent.

             (2)  Column 3 of the table contains additional information that is not part of this Act. Information in this column may be added to or edited in any published version of this Act.

3   Schedule(s)

                   Each Act that is specified in a Schedule to this Act is amended or repealed as set out in the applicable items in the Schedule concerned, and any other item in a Schedule to this Act has effect according to its terms.



 

Schedule 1 Extending the farm help income support scheme

   

Farm Household Support Act 1992

1  Paragraph 6B(a)

Omit “30 June 2004”, substitute “30 June 2007, or such later day as is prescribed”.

2  Paragraph 6B(b)

Omit “30 June 2005”, substitute “30 June 2008, or such later day as is prescribed”.



 

Schedule 2 Changes to farm help scheme

Part 1 Main amendments

Farm Household Support Act 1992

1  Subsection 3(2)

Insert:

activity plan has the meaning given by subsection 8B(3).

2  Subsection 3(2)

Insert:

advice on financial outlook has the meaning given by subsection 8B(2).

3  Subsection 3(2)

Insert:

liquid assets , in relation to a person, has the same meaning as in section 198N of the Social Security Act 1991 .

Note:          The expression is defined for the purposes of that section in section 19B of that Act.

4  Subsection 3(2) (definition of sale of a farm )

Repeal the definition.

5  Subsection 3(2)

Insert:

sale of a farm enterprise means a transaction as a result of which the rights or interests of a person in:

                     (a)  a farm enterprise; and

                     (b)  the land used for the purposes of the farm enterprise;

are transferred to another person.

6  Subsection 3(2)

Insert:

severe financial hardship has the meaning given in section 5.

7  After section 4

Insert:

5   Severe financial hardship

                   For the purposes of this Act, a person is in severe financial hardship at a particular time if the total value of the liquid assets of the person and the person’s partner (if any) at that time is less than or equal to the amount of newstart allowance that would have been payable to the person during the period of 6 weeks immediately preceding that time if, during the whole period:

                     (a)  the person was entitled to newstart allowance; and

                     (b)  the person had no other income.

8  Section 6

Repeal the section, substitute:

6   Objects of exceptional circumstances relief payment and farm help income support

Object of exceptional circumstances relief payment

             (1)  The object of exceptional circumstances relief payment is to provide financial assistance to farmers who:

                     (a)  are experiencing difficulty in meeting living expenses; and

                     (b)  are in exceptional circumstances.

Object of farm help income support

             (2)  The object of farm help income support is to provide short term financial assistance to farmers who:

                     (a)  are experiencing difficulty in meeting living expenses; and

                     (b)  are unlikely to obtain a loan from a finance institution;

while they take action to improve their long term financial situation by improving the financial performance of their farm enterprise, finding alternative sources of income or re-establishing themselves outside farming.

9  Section 8B

Repeal the section, substitute:

8B   Qualification for farm help income support

             (1)  Subject to this Division, a person is qualified for farm help income support in respect of a period if:

                     (a)  the period begins on or after the farm help scheme payment commencement day; and

                     (b)  throughout the period, the person:

                              (i)  is a farmer; and

                             (ii)  is at least 18; and

                            (iii)  is an Australian resident; and

                            (iv)  is in Australia; and

                     (c)  the person has been a farmer for a continuous period of at least 2 years immediately before the period; and

                     (d)  the person has obtained either of the following:

                              (i)  advice from a prescribed adviser that there is no reasonable likelihood, immediately before the period begins, that the person would obtain a loan from a finance institution given the person’s financial situation;

                             (ii)  a certificate of inability to obtain finance that is in effect for the period; and

                     (e)  the person has obtained advice from a prescribed adviser on whether there is a reasonable likelihood of improving the financial performance of the farm enterprise; and

                      (f)  the person has developed a plan for the period directed towards assisting the person to do one or more of the following:

                              (i)  improve the financial performance of the farm enterprise;

                             (ii)  secure alternative sources of income;

                            (iii)  re-establish himself or herself outside farming.

             (2)  Advice of the kind mentioned in subparagraph (1)(d)(i) and paragraph (1)(e) is advice on financial outlook .

             (3)  A plan of the kind mentioned in paragraph (1)(f) is an activity plan .

10  At the end of Division 1B of Part 2

Add:

8F   Persons not qualified because farm help income support interrupted by exceptional circumstances relief payment

             (1)  A person is not qualified for farm help income support in respect of a particular claim if:

                     (a)  farm help income support has been paid to the person under an earlier claim; and

                     (b)  that support ceased to be payable because the person, or the person’s partner, received exceptional circumstances relief payment.

             (2)  A person is not qualified for farm help income support in respect of a particular claim (the later claim ) if:

                     (a)  at the time the later claim is made, the person has a partner; and

                     (b)  farm help income support has been paid to the partner under an earlier claim made by the partner; and

                     (c)  that support ceased to be payable because the partner, or the person, received exceptional circumstances relief payment.

11  Section 13B

Repeal the section.

12  Subsection 19(3)

Omit “The Secretary”, substitute “Subject to subsection (4), the Secretary”.

13  At the end of section 19

Add:

             (4)  If the Secretary is satisfied that a person who has made a claim for farm help income support would suffer severe financial hardship if the person were required to obtain advice on financial outlook or develop an activity plan before accessing that support, the Secretary may grant the claim even if those things have not been done.

             (5)  If the Secretary grants the claim in reliance on subsection (4), the Secretary must arrange for the provision of assistance to the person under the farm help advice and training scheme (see paragraphs 52B(3)(d) and (e)) so that the person can obtain advice on financial outlook and develop an activity plan.

Note:          If the advice is not obtained and the plan is not developed within 3 months of the claim being granted, farm help income support will cease to be payable under section 51.

             (6)  If:

                     (a)  a person makes a claim for a farm help advice and training grant; and

                     (b)  the claim contains information relevant to the question whether the person would qualify for farm help income support, or whether farm help income support would be payable; and

                     (c)  within a period of 3 months beginning on the day on which the claim for the farm help advice and training grant is made, the person makes a claim for farm help income support;

the Secretary may rely on that information in determining the claim for farm help income support.

14  At the end of Part 8

Add:

50   Automatic termination—exceptional circumstances relief payment received

                   Farm help income support ceases, and is taken to have ceased, to be payable to a person at the beginning of a period if the person, or the person’s partner, is receiving, or has received, exceptional circumstances relief payment in respect of that period.

51   Automatic termination—failure to obtain advice on financial outlook or develop activity plan

                   If:

                     (a)  the Secretary has granted a claim for farm help income support by a person in reliance on subsection 19(4) (severe financial hardship); and

                     (b)  the person fails to obtain advice on financial outlook or develop an activity plan within a period of 3 months beginning on the day on which the claim is granted;

farm help income support ceases to be payable immediately after the end of that 3 month period.

52   Termination by the Secretary—failure to comply with an activity plan

             (1)  Farm help income support ceases to be payable to a person if the Secretary makes a determination in writing that he or she is satisfied that the person has failed to comply with the person’s activity plan.

             (2)  Farm help income support ceases to be payable on the day on which the determination is made.

15  Part 8A

Repeal the Part.

16  Paragraph 52A(1)(a)

Repeal the paragraph, substitute:

                     (a)  formulate a scheme:

                              (i)  to encourage farmers who are unable to meet their living expenses to leave farming; and

                             (ii)  to achieve this end by providing payments to those farmers, to be made after 1 December 1997, by way of grant of financial assistance on the sale of farm enterprises; and

17  After section 52A

Insert:

52AA   Where there is a return to farming

                   If:

                     (a)  a person has received a farm help re-establishment grant; and

                     (b)  the person, or the person’s partner, acquires a right or interest in a farm enterprise within 5 years after receiving the grant;

the Commonwealth may recover an amount equal to the grant as a debt due to the Commonwealth.

18  Paragraph 52B(1)(a)

Repeal the paragraph, substitute:

                     (a)  formulate a scheme under which farmers and their families are provided with assistance for the purpose of doing one or more of the following:

                              (i)  obtaining advice to assist farmers to assess their long-term prospects;

                             (ii)  obtaining training;

                            (iii)  obtaining software needed for the purpose of, or as a result of, advice or training under the scheme;

                            (iv)  developing an activity plan; and

19  Paragraphs 52B(3)(b) and (c)

Repeal the paragraphs, substitute:

                     (b)  provide for assistance to people for the purpose of complying with such directions; and

                     (c)  provide a method for determining the consequence, for the payment of farm help scheme payments, of a person not complying with such a direction; and

                     (d)  provide for assistance to people for the purpose of obtaining advice on financial outlook; and

                     (e)  provide for assistance to people for the purpose of developing an activity plan.



 

Part 2 Consequential amendments

Farm Household Support Act 1992

20  Subsection 8E(5)

Repeal the subsection.

21  Section 9A (note)

Repeal the note.

22  Section 9B (note)

Repeal the note, substitute:

Note:          See section 50 for automatic termination of farm help income support where exceptional circumstances relief payment is payable.



 

Part 3 Application and saving provisions

23  Definition

In this Schedule:

Principal Act means the Farm Household Support Act 1992 .

24  Farm help income support

(1)        The amendments made by items 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 20, 21 and 22 of this Schedule apply in relation to farm help income support where the claim for that support is made on or after the commencement of this item.

(2)        The amendment made by item 14 of this Schedule, to the extent that it relates to the insertion of sections 51 and 52 of the Principal Act, applies in relation to farm help income support where the claim for that support is made on or after the commencement of this item.

25  Exceptional circumstances relief payment

The amendment made by item 8 of this Schedule applies in relation to exceptional circumstances relief payment where the claim for that payment is made on or after the commencement of this item.

26  Interaction between exceptional circumstances relief payment and farm help income support

(1)        The amendments made by items 10 and 15 of this Schedule apply where the exceptional circumstances relief payment that resulted in farm help income support not being payable to a person was received under a claim made on or after the commencement of this item.

(2)        The amendment made by item 14 of this Schedule, to the extent that it relates to the insertion of section 50 of the Principal Act, applies where the exceptional circumstances relief payment that resulted in farm help income support not being payable to a person was received under a claim made on or after the commencement of this item.

27  Activity plan directions under section 13B

(1)        Despite the repeal of section 13B of the Principal Act by item 11 of this Schedule, that section, as in force immediately before the commencement of that item, continues in force on and after commencement, in relation to farm help income support where a claim for that support was made before commencement, as if the repeal had not occurred.

(2)        Despite the repeal of section 13B of the Principal Act by item 11 of this Schedule, an activity plan direction that:

                     (a)  was given, before the commencement of that item, under section 13B of the Principal Act; and

                     (b)  was in force immediately before that commencement;

continues in force after that commencement, as if the repeal had not occurred.

(3)        Despite the repeal of section 13B of the Principal Act by item 11 of this Schedule, the consequences of failure to comply with an activity plan direction that:

                     (a)  was given, before the commencement of that item, under that section; and

                     (b)  was in force immediately before that commencement;

continue to be determined by the method provided under the farm help advice and training scheme as in force immediately before that commencement.

28  Farm help re-establishment scheme

(1)        The amendments made by items 4, 5, 8, 16 and 17 of this Schedule apply in relation to the farm help re-establishment scheme where a claim for a grant under the scheme is made on or after the commencement of this item.

(2)        Despite:

                     (a)  the amendments of subsection 3(2) of the Principal Act made by items 4 and 5 of this Schedule; and

                     (b)  the amendment of section 52A of the Principal Act made by item 16 of this Schedule; and

                     (c)  the insertion of section 52AA of the Principal Act made by item 17 of this Schedule;

section 52A of the Principal Act and instruments made under that section, as in force immediately before the commencement of those items, continue in force on and after that commencement, in relation to a farm help re-establishment grant where the claim for the grant was made before that commencement, as if the amendments and insertion had not been made.

29  Farm help advice and training scheme

(1)        The amendments of section 52B of the Principal Act made by items 18 and 19 of this Schedule apply in relation to the farm help advice and training scheme where a claim for a grant under the scheme is made on or after the commencement of this item.

(2)        Despite the amendments of section 52B of the Principal Act made by items 18 and 19 of this Schedule, that section and instruments made under that section, as in force immediately before the commencement of those items, continue in force on and after that commencement, in relation to farm help advice and training grants where the claim for the grant was made before that commencement, as if the amendments had not been made.

 

 

 

[ Minister’s second reading speech made in—

House of Representatives on 27 May 2004

Senate on 15 June 2004 ]

(89/04)