Relief for Our Farmers

Drought Assistance Information Package

Water Infrastructure Rebate Eligible Primary Producers can claim a rebate of 25% of the cost of purchase, delivery and if applicable, the labour cost to engage a person to install water infrastructure for animal welfare needs. Please visit this link for more details

Foodbank NSW & ACT is a non-denominational, non-profit organisation which acts as a pantry to the charities and community groups who feed people in need. Foodbank NSW & ACT distributed over 11 million kilos of food relief across the state and territory last year alone. More than 40% of this food relief helped people in rural and regional NSW. While we are always in bush, helping people in need, last year our volunteers packed 5000 food and 5000 personal care hampers for distribution to farming communities in severely drought affected areas. This isn’t the end of our assistance. If you or someone you know is in need of food relief, whether due to the drought or other circumstances, please contact Foodbank on 02 9756 3099

Drought Community Support Initiative on 26 October 2018, the Australian Government announced it would provide $30 million in much-needed support to drought-affected families through the Drought Community Support Initiative. This will provide up to $3,000 in assistance to at least 10,000 households in 81 Local Government Areas eligible under the Drought Communities Programme Extension. The funding is now available for farmers, farm workers and farm suppliers/contractors facing hardship due to drought. It can be used to spend in local communities or to cover urgent bills such as food, petrol and utilities. The $3,000 per household can consist of up to $2,000 in cash and $1,000 in vouchers. The Salvation Army, St Vincent de Paul Society and Rotary Australia World Community Service have been engaged to deliver the assistance. Eligible households should reach out to these organisations directly to seek financial support. Contact the The Salvation Army 24 hour hotline: 1300 551 030 or St Vincent de Paul Hotline: 13 18 12 or Rotary

Dog food and food vouchers for Farmers suffering from drought -Tenterfield Presbyterian Church Family together with Christian Charity Samaritan’s Purse has teamed up to support local farmers suffering the effects of the drought.  Tenterfield Presbyterian Church have purchased 50 x 20 kg bags of dog food to be distributed at the Thomas Rural Produce Store, Western Boundary Rd. Tenterfield.  In order to preserve anonymity ‘needy farmers’ with at least one working dog need only email the church on giving their name and PIC No. and the church will forward them a voucher that can be exchanged for one bag of dog food at Thomas Rural. In addition to this, Samaritan Purse has gifted the Church a limited number of $200 vouchers that ‘needy farmers’ can spend in the local community.  To secure one of these vouchers the church is inviting the community to nominate a ‘needy farmer’ by emailing their name, phone number and/or address to and mentioning ‘Samaritan Purse’.  Anonymity is important in the gifting of these vouchers and names will not be published. Pastor Jim said, “I am overwhelmed with the generosity already shown by our local community to our ‘needy farmers’ and we pray that our small contribution will add a little more joy to that enormous effort.”


The Salvation Army

Farming families requiring assistance should contact The Salvation Army for assessment by website or call them on 02 8757 8088.

Call the assistance line: (02) 8757 8088 (available 24 hours).

Online: Go to and fill out an assistance form

Local Salvos: Find the closes Salvation Army church or centre to you at


Hon Thomas George MP - Meda Release Great Access to Drought Support

The NSW Government has today announced it is making it easier for farmers and their families to access the Drought Transport Subsidies and the Drought Assistance Fund by relaxing the gross off-farm asset test.

Member for Lismore Thomas George said the current criteria is being lifted from a $1 million off-farm assets to $5 million, which means more farmers will now be eligible to access drought assistance.


Tenterfield Regional Council Rates Hardship

Council recognises there are cases of genuine financial hardship requiring respect and compassion. Council has a ‘Ratepayers Hardship Policy’ which provides guidelines for the assessment of hardship applications.  If you cannot pay your rates by the dates required then please contact Council’s Debt Recovery Officer on (02) 6736 6000 to discuss alternate payment arrangements.

Drought Hub – Department of Primary Industries

Drought support has changed in NSW. Landholders are encouraged to visit the DPI Droughthub ( for information on the services and support available during drought conditions.


Drought assistance fund

 Interest free loans of up to $500,000 are available to eligible primary producers to assist in sustainable management practices.  or telephone 1800 678 593


Farm Household Allowance:

please do not self-assess your eligibility – seek advice from an expert responsible for receiving and assessing Farm Household Allowance applications through the Department of Human Services on 13 23 16 or reach out to your local Rural Financial Counselling Service for guidance and support through the Farm Household Allowance process by calling 1800 686 175.


Farm Innovation Fund Loans

Concessional loans to assist with drought preparedness, environment, farm infrastructure and natural resources works.


Rural Financial Counselling Service

Don’t have a Rural Financial Counsellor? It’s a free service. Find one nearer to you at or call 1800 686 175


Country Women’s Association Drought Aid Fund:

CWA Drought Aid Fund: Assistance to meet household expenses for drought affected families, up to a maximum of $3000 per family/household. Expenses can include grocery bills, vehicle maintenance, school, electricity, rates, telephone, medical treatments etc.  Phone: (02) 8337 0210


Australian Taxation Office - Assistance for people affected by Drought

 A range of assistance to help individuals and businesses affected, directly or indirectly, by drought. or to discuss your situation phone 1800 806 218 or phone ATO Drought Tax Hotline – 131 142


Taxation Measures:

Any drought-affected taxpayers who need support with tax debts can ring the ATO on 131 142 to talk about options to help manage their tax obligations. For more information visit


Farmer Assistance Hotline:

132 316 for Farmer Assistance Hotline on 132 316 for information on the Farm Household Allowance. Apply online at Farm Household Allowance or download an application form at


Rural Financial Counsellors

Financial counsellors have no eligibility criteria, are free, independent and confidential. Financial counsellors have specific knowledge about credit, bankruptcy and debt collection laws, concession frameworks, and industry hardship practices. Phone Kim Abel, Financial Counsellor – mobile 0429 832 203 (The Salvation Army).


Rural Aid:

1300 327 624


NIB announces a health insurance premium waiver for eligible farmers

For six months to existing NIB members who are receiving the Federal Governments Farm Household Allowance and who live in drought-declared areas. The assistance package will be available from 1 September until 31 December 2018. Eligible members will receive a six month waiver for 100% of their current health insurance premiums.  The health insurance premium relief package will be available to existing nib members who are currently receiving the Federal Government’s Farm Household Allowance and who live in a drought-declared area. Members who have had to cancel or downgrade their private health insurance since 1 June 2018 due to the financial impact of the drought will also be eligible for assistance. nib will be contacting eligible members directly to advise them of the health insurance premium relief package and how to apply. Members are also encouraged to contact us via phone (13 14 63), online (, email ( or by visiting one of our nib Retail Centres if they’d like to discuss their options.

For Mental Health Support

Rural Adversity Mental Health Program (RAMHP)

The Rural Adversity Mental Health Program (RAMHP)  provides mental health awareness, training and linking of people in your community experiencing mental health concerns to mental health information, resources and support they require. Information and resources are available at


Local RAMHP Coordinator, Letitia Cross on 0477 343 628 or email


Mental Health Support for drought affected families.

Centacare – provides free short-term psychological therapy by qualified allied health professionals. Call (02) 67 62 9200.


The NSW Mental Health Line

Connecting you with the right care is a 24 hours service across NSW. Call 1800 011 511.  Calls from landlines are free but charges may apply from mobiles.


NSW Rural Mental Health Support Line

1800 201 123


Beyond Blue Support Service 1300 224 636

Beyond Blue Support Service offers 24/7 telephone support, counselling and referral from trained mental health professionals. All calls and chats are one on one and completely confidential.


Lifeline 13 11 14

Anyone across Australia experiencing a personal crisis or thinking about suicide can contact Lifelines confidential crisis support service. Trained volunteers are available 24/7 to listen and provide support and referrals. Call 131 114 or visit


Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800

Kids Helpline is a 24/7 confidential support and counselling service specifically for young people aged 5 to 25 years. Kids can contact the service about a wide range of issues, such as family, friends, school, abuse, mental illness, drug and alcohol use, homelessness and suicide. Counselling can be provided online, via email or over the telephone.


Mens Line Australia

1300 78 99 78

Contact Mensline on 1300 78 99 78 or visit


Current Drought Funding and Farm Assistance Packages