Minister for agriculture, fisheries and forestry, Tony Burke, said the Western Australia drought reform pilot will begin next month (July 1).

Mr Burke explained the pilot would be a ‘partnership’ with farmers to help them better prepare for future challenges and build more resilient farm businesses and rural communities.

The deal will help farmers resettle if their land is to arid, with an ‘exit package’ of up to $170,000 to help with the transition of moving out.

But, if they choose to stay, the government will help them prepare for the future through the on-farm investment grants.

Mr Burke explained: “The business grants include Farm Business Adaption Grants of up to $40,000 for eligible activities that support farm businesses to manage and prepare for the impacts of drought, reduced water availability and a changing climate.

“There is a further on-farm investment grant of up to $20,000 for eligible landcare activities which may include managing soil salinity, revegetation, refencing or improving wetland management.

“There will also be additional support for any of the 6,000 farmers in the trial region such as counselling services and social support including an on-line counselling service for young people.

“We are not sitting in the corner waiting until a crisis takes hold, a key part of our new approach is to test the idea of supporting farmers to develop a strategic business plan, tailored to the needs of their individual businesses.”

For more information click here to view the pilot’s website.

Luke Walsh

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