In Queensland, the state government aids primary producers suffering from drought. This aid is provided as financial assistance to help struggling farmers in drought declared areas to continue feeding their stock and installing infrastructure necessary to cope with the dry conditions. This article will explore one such scheme called the Drought Relief Assistance Scheme.
What is Drought Relief Assistance Scheme?
The Drought Relief Assistance Scheme (DRAS) is offered by the Queensland Government and administered by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF). The purpose of the scheme is to help primary producers with drought-declared properties:
- manage the welfare of their core breeding herd during drought
- restore their herds after drought.
Assistance measures provided to drought declared properties include:
- freight subsidies for transporting fodder
- freight subsidies for transporting water
- the Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate (EWIR), which provides a rebate on the purchase and installation of water infrastructure installed for emergency animal welfare.
A drought declaration is an official acknowledgment by government that an area or individual property is affected by poor seasonal conditions. In Queensland, declarations are made by a local government, or through a primary producer submitting an Individually Droughted Property (IDP) application.
How Much Financial Assistance is Available?
The maximum amount available under DRAS is initially $20,000 per property within a financial year. If this limit is reached, it can be extended to $30,000 provided a drought management plan is endorsed by DAF. Once endorsed, the $30,000 ceiling applies to the current financial year and future ones. When a DAF endorsed property enters the third year or more of being drought declared, the ceiling automatically increases to $40,000.
Purchase and Install of Water Infrastructure
This rebate (EWIR) applies to the purchase and installation of water infrastructure including:
- pipes, water tanks and water troughs
- drilling a new working bore
- water pumps and power supply used to run water pumps such as generators
- other materials or equipment necessary to install the above
- any freight component to purchase and install the equipment
- professional installation costs to install the water infrastructure.
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