Changes to farmer welfare pass parliament

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Matt Coughlan
(Australian Associated Press)

 

A fortnightly welfare payment for farmers doing it tough will have a permanent asset test of $5 million, up from $2.6 million.

The Morrison government made changes to the Farm Household Allowance an election commitment to help drought-stricken farmers across rural Australia.

Legislation passed parliament on Tuesday raising the threshold in a bid to give more producers access to the payment, which based on the rate of Newstart and available for up to four years.

Agriculture Minister Bridget McKenzie said the money helped farmers make tough business decisions, like changing practices or succession planning, during times of drought.

“We understand that our farmers are asset rich but cash poor and need support to improve their circumstances, particularly if they’re experiencing poor climatic conditions,” she told parliament.

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