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Review of Farm Household Allowance begins

FHA Review Board. Image courtesy of Australian Government

A review of Farm Household Allowance (FHA) has begun to make sure the hardship payment is supporting farmers as well as possible and to see if there ways to improve it.

The review’s terms of reference have been finalised and an expert panel has been selected.

Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud met with the expert panel to drive home the importance of this policy and the need to get it right.

“This has never been a set and forget policy,” Minister Littleproud said.

“It makes sense to review things and make sure they’re doing the best job they can. It’s time we got under the bonnet of the FHA and had a good look.”

The panel members are:

  • Mrs Michele Lawrence (Chair), member of the Agricultural Industry Advisory Council and dairy farmer, Tasmania;
  • Ms Georgie Somerset, Deputy Chair of Agforce and cattle farmer, Queensland; and
  • Professor Robert Slonim, Professor of Economics at the University of Sydney and former director of the Australian Government’s Behavioural Economics Team, NSW.

The panel will run a public submission process to ensure all interested stakeholders can participate, and make recommendations to Government in the first half of 2019.

“The government is also is getting on with helping farmers in hardship access the FHA now by extending the FHA from three to four years and simplifying the application form,” Minister Littleproud said.

“The assets test eligibility threshold has increased from $2.6 million to $5 million and we are paying supplementary lump sum payments of up to $12,000.

“We’ve committed more than $77 million to the RFCS program to June 2020, including $17 million to extend the 12 national RFCS providers’ contracts and a further $8.4 million to meet additional demand.”

Source: Australian Government

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