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Budget 2007: Helping hand extended for farm families.

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DAFF07/B007 - 8 May 2007

FEDERAL BUDGET 2007-08: Helping hand extended for farm families

Australian farmers in financial difficulty will benefit from an improved Farm Help programme that will provide an additional $92.3 million in assistance over the next four years.

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Peter McGauran, said a key feature of the improved Farm Help programme announced in this year’s Federal Budget was an increase in the re-establishment grant to $75,000.

“Previous Farm Help recipients will also have a second chance to obtain professional advice and training and to access a re-establishment grant,” Mr McGauran said.

Farm Help assists farm families in serious financial difficulty while they take action to improve their financial prospects.

Since 1997, more than 9,900 farmers have received Farm Help income support; more than 8,500 farmers have taken up advice and training sessions; and nearly 1,200 farmers have left farming and received a re-establishment grant.

“The Farm Help programme will continue to provide up to 12 months’ income support at the Newstart rate to allow time for farmers to make decisions about their future,” Mr McGauran said.

“In addition, support will be provided for professional advice and training with a grant of $5,500 and the increased re-establishment grant of $75,000 if the family decides to sell the farm.

“Previous recipients will be able to access professional advice and training up to $2,500 and/or the re-establishment grant of $75,000. In line with the increased re-establishment grant, the maximum asset limit to obtain the full $75,000 will increase from $100,000 to $150,000 worth of net assets after the sale of the farm.

“Government help with short-term income support and access to advice assists farm families to restructure their businesses during times of financial difficulty.”

Further media inquiries:

Minister McGauran's office: Ben Houston 02 6277 7520