The Rural Financial Counselling Service NSW provides free and impartial financial counselling to eligible primary producers, fishers and small rural businesses who are suffering financial hardship. This includes support to manage the challenges of change and adjustment.
Northern Region Contacts:
Southern region contacts:
Central region Contacts: Ph: 1800 940 404
The Federal Government Department of Human Services provides help for farmers and their families experiencing financial hardship. To be eligible:
Contact: Farmer Assistance Line phone 132 316 or your local Rural Financial Counsellor
The Australian Tax Office has a range of options for farmers experiencing financial hardship such as deferred payment plans
More information is also available by calling 13 72 86.
Small Biz Connect is a quality, personalised and highly subsidised business advisory program for small businesses in NSW, including agribusinesses. Call 1300 134 359 to make an appointment with your local business advisor or contact the advisors below.
The Australian and NSW Governments have reaffirmed their commitment to dairy farmers doing it tough, with applications now open for Dairy Recovery Concessional loans. Dairy Recovery Concessional Loans will help those affected by the Murray Goulburn and Fonterra decisions to drop farm gate milk prices.
Loans up to $1 million, repayable over 10 years at a variable concessional interest rate are available to eligible farm businesses for the purposes of Debt Restructuring, providing new debt for Operating Expenses or Productivity Enhancement Activities, or a combination of these.
Detailed eligibility criteria for the Dairy Recovery Concessional Loans are available in the Scheme Guidelines. Contact the NSW RAA or call 1800 678 593.
Applications will close when funding is fully committed or by 31 October 2016, whichever occurs first.
This program is funded by the Australian Government and delivered in New South Wales by the NSW Rural Assistance Authority.
The new dairy loans are part of the Australian Government’s Dairy Support Package which also includes employing more rural financial counsellors in dairy regions and a new Dairy Industry Liaison Officer to help connect dairy farmers with the assistance available. The Australian Government also has put more staff on to process applications for Farm Household Allowance so claims can be assessed as quickly as possible.
To read more about the Australian government's commitment to dairy farmers, download their document Governments reaffirm financial assistance for dairy farmers (PDF, 86.92 KB).
More information on the Dairy Support Package and the range of Australian Government assistance available for farmers, farm businesses and rural communities.
The Farm Innovation Fund is an incentive-based initiative to assist farmers within New South Wales to identify and address risks to their farming enterprises, improve permanent farm infrastructure, ensure long term productivity and sustainable land use plus aiding in meeting changes to seasonal conditions. Loans of up to $250,000 to meet the cost of carrying out permanent capital works that will have a significant beneficial impact on the land, long term profitability of the enterprise and address adverse seasonal conditions
Contact the NSW Rural Assistance Authority on 1800 678 593 or 0263 913 000.
The NSW Government is also offering farmers assistance with assessing their financial situation and future operations through the Farm Business Skills - Professional Development Program. This program forms part of the NSW Drought Strategy.
The Farm Business Skills - Professional Development Program provides primary producers with:
Participants can receive a subsidy of up to 50% of the total cost of professional development activities to a maximum of $5000 for the first person from the farm business across eligible programs.
Additional members of the farm business management team can also apply for support for up to an additional $1000 per person for a maximum of four people to a maximum of $9000 for the farm business over the five years of the program.
You are strongly urged to seek advice and application assistance from your local Rural Financial Counsellor – see above – DO NOT SELF ASSESS.
The Farm Debt Mediation Scheme makes it compulsory for banks and other creditors to offer mediation to farmers before commencing debt recovery proceedings on farm mortgages. A neutral and independent mediator assists the farmer and the creditor to try and reach agreement about current and future debt arrangements
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For access to local mental health services contact the organisations listed below.
The Rural Adversity Mental Health Program (RAMHP) provides a range of information services to individuals, communities and service providers to link rural and remote people to the help they need. This includes information on where to access services, common mental illnesses and how to keep mentally healthy, as well as the Glove Box Guide to Mental Health.
Hunter and North Coast RAMHP contacts:
Community Mental Health Line
Beyondblue depression information line
Australian Red Cross
The Red Cross provides personal support during a disaster and an outreach service to affected households. Contact 1800 660 066 or (02) 49413200 in the Hunter area.
Black Dog Institute
The Salvation Army
For advice, personal support and referral to social services, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
For non-denominational counselling contact the Salvation Army Rural Chaplain
St Vincent de Paul Rural Task force
Provides personal support, farm visits, advocacy, clothing and some financial assistance (02) 9560 2666
Dairy Australia has produced this webpage for farmers on activities and supportive resources available to all farmers who are facing challenging circumstances.
Taking Stock Tool
The Taking Stock tool was developed for dairy farmers to use in conjunction with trained advisors. It helps farmers assess the current financial and physical health of their dairy farm businesses. Dairy NSW will have trained advisors available for one on one assistance. Dates to be confirmed.
Rural Resilience Officers and Rural Support Workers provide information on support available for farming families and can connect them to relevant service providers. If you need assistance please contact:
NSW DPI Dairy Staff