Farmers heard first hand

FORUM: Rowan Ramsey speaks to farmers at the Arno Bay drought forum on Wednesday.
FORUM: Rowan Ramsey speaks to farmers at the Arno Bay drought forum on Wednesday.

A strong turn-out at a drought meeting held by Rowan Ramsey at the Arno Bay Hotel on Wednesday night illustrated the extent of the problems facing farmers on Eastern Eyre Peninsula where rain has been scarce.

Mr Ramsey invited Centrelink to explain the new Federal Government household support where eligible farmers can receive an extra $12,000 on top of what is already available and lifted the threshold of net assets from $2.5 million to $5m.

Farm planning assistance was also discussed as was the merit and eligibility of a number of other Federal assistance measures.

Two rural financial counsellors were also on hand to explain the government’s free service and they urged farmers to come and talk to them about their circumstances in a totally confidential way.

The message was clear; do not self-assess.

The impact of the New South Wales freight subsidies for fodder on the cost and availability of local supplies was discussed as was the availability of seed for re-sowing.  

Mr Ramsey returned to Parliament this week and held this meeting to make sure he had a strong picture of the extent of the drought in this region and what measures farmers need.

“Drought does not just affect farmers but workers, businesses and the whole community” Mr Ramsey said.