THE MISSING FHA RELIEF PAYMENTS: MR MORRISON – WHERE ARE YOU?

JOEL FITZGIBBON MP.
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2 months ago
THE MISSING FHA RELIEF PAYMENTS: MR MORRISON – WHERE ARE YOU?
JOEL FITZGIBBON MP
The Morrison-McCormack Government has further confused drought-affected farmers by failing to follow-through on the Farm Household Allowance relief payment, the Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Joel Fitzgibbon said today.
 
“With just two weeks until Christmas, fires raging across our rural communities and no rain in sight, many farmers have been again left asking, ‘Scott Morrison, where are you? Where is our relief payment?’” said Mr Fitzgibbon.
 
The Government announced in October that when drought-affected farmers came to the end of the four-year limit on their FHA payment, they would be paid a lump sum equivalent to six months of FHA payments - $7500 for singles and $13,000 for couples. The relief payment was estimated to apply to more than 1100 farming families that had reached the time-limit on their FHA payments.
 
However, Mr Fitzgibbon has questioned if any of the eligible farming families have received an FHA relief payment.
 
“We are aware of eligible farming families that are yet to receive a lump-sum relief payment,” said Mr Fitzgibbon. “We must remember that in July farming families who had exhausted their four year payment-term were kicked off the FHA with no alternative support available to them. Despite no signs of reprieve from the protracted drought, it took the Morrison Government until October to scramble together this piecemeal, one-off relief payment, and now there are farmers who can’t get the payment.”
 
Mr Fitzgibbon said the Government had fostered ongoing chaos around the Farm Household Allowance relief payment and had ignored the bipartisan approach offered by Labor.
 
“We supported the extensions the Government made to the FHA, but we argued that recipients should stay on the allowance while they were still drought-affected. This terrible drought has remained longer than anyone envisaged and the payment should last as long as the emergency conditions are with us.
 
“It is time for the Prime Minister to stand up and provide our farmers with some certainty by making available the Farm Household Allowance relief payment before the New Year.”
Agriculture and Water Resources