The Australian Government is holding ‘one stop shops’ in Scone, Merriwa and Coolah this week to support locals impacted by drought.
Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce, said the events, coordinated by the National Drought and North Queensland Flood Response and Recovery Agency, together with Rotary, brings together a range of Government services to allow farmers and others impacted by drought to have access to a range of support and information on the day.
“Farmers will be able to have face-to-face, confidential discussions with representatives from a range of agencies all in the one visit,” Mr Joyce said.
There will be representatives of the Australian Taxation Office, Regional Investment Corporation, Services Australia, NBN Co, Rural Financial Counselling Service, Rotary Australia World Community Service, Royal Flying Doctor Service as well as the NSW Department of Primary Industries and Local Land Services NSW.
There will be information on-hand at each event about low-interest loans, Farm Household Allowance, the On-Farm Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate Scheme, the $3,000 Drought Community Support Initiative, the Rotary $500 household voucher, as well as other assistance and support.
“More than $10 billion has been committed by the Australian Government for over 26 separate measures to support farmers, their families and regional communities nationally through this drought and to prepare for future droughts,” Mr Joyce said.
“Even though there has been some very welcome rain, recovery from drought can take years.
“I know there are people in the New England and Upper Hunter who are doing it tough but are reluctant to ask for help because they think other people are worse off than them.
“I encourage you to get along to one of these ‘one-stop shops’, ask some questions and find out about the support that may be available to you,” he added.