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Primary Producers

The assistance provided to primary producers under WANDRRA is managed by the Department of Agriculture and Food (DAFWA).

For full details and application forms refer to the DAFWA website.

Professional advice grant

Primary producers may apply for reimbursement of fees to obtain professional advice directly relating to addressing issues arising from an eligible natural disaster event.

The maximum reimbursement available is $1,500.

Advice may be obtained from a farm business consultant such as a member of the Australian Association of Agriculture Consultants (WA Inc), a member of a professional accounting body or an appropriate professional. Advice may relate to business or financial matters, hydrological or soil conservation issues, feed analysis or other stock health issues.  The reimbursement is not available to meet costs of employing professional advice for other purposes.

Interest rate subsidy

An interest rate subsidy may be available to primary producers for new loans provided by Authorised Deposit-taking Institutions (ADIs), where the assets have been lost or damaged as a direct result of an eligible natural disaster, and for which the assistance measures under the WANDRRA have been activated.

There is no government guarantee or indemnity to borrowers or lenders in relation to these loans.

The funds can be used to repair damage caused by the eligible natural disaster event, and/or for carry on purposes to implement the next season’s production program, or to replace livestock lost in the disaster.

Primary producers must demonstrate, to the satisfaction of DAFWA, that funds are not available from within their own resources. It would be expected that applicants would have committed all liquid assets and credit sources for normal operation of the business, and will need to access extra borrowings to recover from the disaster. This will be assessed mainly from the Statement of Assets and Liabilities as at the time of application, with reference to the applicant if additional information is required. An increase in the level of agreed borrowing would likely qualify for the interest subsidy support.

The WANDRRA provides an interest rate subsidy, currently set at 4 per cent with the subsidy payments:

  • Capped at a maximum of $6,000 (being 4% of a loan maximum of $150,000); and
  • For a maximum period of 10 years, of which the first two years may be free of capital repayments at the discretion of the ADI.

In cases where no capital repayments or minimal capital repayments are made from Year three onwards, and to be consistent with those who have made capital repayments, a ‘notional’ deduction of 1/10th of the original loan principal is taken for each year.

The Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) will pay the interest rate subsidy annually in advance, based upon the satisfactory submission of a claim form after the anniversary date of the loan drawdown/disbursement, supported by documentary evidence of the loan balance at this time such as provision of a copy of the relevant loan account statement showing the ‘actual’ loan balance on, or shortly after the anniversary date. Any changes to the loan are required to be notified immediately to DFES.

Freight subsidy

This assistance reimburses the primary producer a maximum of 50 per cent of the costs incurred to transport any of the following items as a direct result of an eligible a natural disaster:

  • Livestock.
  • Fodder or water for livestock.
  • Building or fencing equipment or machinery.

Fencing

This assistance reimburses the primary producer 100 per cent of the costs associated with any of the following:

  • restoration/replacement of fencing (to pre-disaster standard) where the fencing has been deliberately dismantled or damaged due to counter disaster operations activities undertaken in order to combat the eligible natural disaster event; and/or
  • reimbursement of the costs of materials only (to pre-disaster standard) to repair/replace ‘boundary’ fencing, damaged/lost fencing as a direct result of the eligible natural disaster event. This measure is only available where fencing adjoins a major road/rail transport corridor and where the roaming of livestock may present a danger to the travelling public (i.e., the aim being to preserve public safety).

In respect of reimbursement for fencing materials, for a claim to be considered under this relief measure, the primary producer must demonstrate to DAFWA’s satisfaction that at the time of the natural disaster event, the property was at that time being used to hold or agist livestock. A property that was used solely for cropping purposes at the time of the incident resulting in the claim would not be eligible for assistance under the WANDRRA. As the intent of this measure is to ensure public safety, to be eligible, all works must be undertaken as soon as is practicable after the impact of the natural disaster event. It must also be noted that where a claimant has insurance, and the insurance policy includes fencing, in these circumstances the claim must be lodged with the insurer, and not via the WANDRRA.

Other measures

Additional relief measures may be available after an event for which WANDRRA has been activated and these will be determined by the DAFWA and DFES and will be based on the needs arising as a result of the event. These measures may include such items as fodder drops to stock isolated by flood or veterinary costs for assessing stock affected by exposure or fire.

Eligibility criteria

An applicant is the business entity, represented by the partners, directors or shareholders who are the primary producers and must meet the eligibility criteria as detailed below.

Applicants must:

Operate a commercial scale farming, fishing or pastoral business and be affected by the declared natural disaster.

  1. Have been operational for at least one year.
  2. Either own the farm land or hold a minimum five year agreement to share-farm or lease the property, OR own and operate under a fishing license or have a three year lease of a fishing licence.
  3. Devote at least 75 per cent of their labour to the primary production business.
  4. Confirm that the applicant’s business generates at least 50 per cent of its income from the affected enterprise.
  5. Lodge their claim (i.e., application form, suppliers' invoices, evidence of payment and a tax invoice to DAFWA) within six months of the declaration date of the disaster.
  6. Demonstrate that own resources are not available to the business to recover from the disaster.
  7. Demonstrate the impact of the event on the business.
  8. Sign a statutory declaration certifying the above.

Application procedure

  1. Complete the WANDRRA Primary Producer Package Application form and submit the application to the Department of Agriculture and Food, Rural Business Development Unit (Locked Bag 4 Bentley Delivery Centre WA 6983).
  2. The application by the applicant includes a Consent and Statutory Declaration to give authorisation for the DAFWA or the DFES to seek and/or share information.
  3. For measures other than the Interest Rate Subsidy, the applicant will need to submit with the application their Tax Invoice for expected reimbursement plus GST to Department of Agriculture and Food, Rural Business Development Unit (ABN 18 951 343 745), along with supplier tax Invoices that verify expenditure.
  4. Reimbursement payments for professional advice, freight costs, fencing or other measures will be assessed and paid by DAFWA direct to the applicant’s nominated bank account.
  5. Expressions of interest for the Interest Rate Subsidy will be reviewed by DAFWA and recommended to DFES. DFES will then liaise directly with the applicant.

Agency responsible

DAFWA website

Contact Number: 1800 198 231

 

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