Tas Freight Equalisation Scheme relief for drought-hit farmers

Tasmanians donating produce to drought-stricken farmers have had their goodwill supported by the Australian Government through extension of the Tasmanian Freight Equalisation Scheme (TFES) to lower transportation costs of donated fodder.

Nationals Senator for Tasmania Steve Martin said he was proud that Tasmanians were making such contributions to the drought effort and was pleased the TFES extension will make it more cost-effective for hay and other feed to be transported to drought-hit properties on the Mainland.

Senator Martin said this change to TFES followed on from the Liberals and Nationals’ Government announcement this week of an additional $190 million in drought support measures to help producers and farming communities during tough times.

That assistance included expanding the Farm Household Allowance (FHA) scheme to provide two lump sum supplementary payments worth up to $12,000 for eligible households and relaxing its eligibility criteria to help farming families meet everyday living costs.

“The extension of the Tasmanian Freight Equalisation Scheme to exempt donated fodder moving to the Mainland will be welcome relief for generous Tasmanians donating hay and other feed to drought-hit farmers,” Senator Martin said.

“The TFES inclusion of donated fodder will continue until 30 June 2019 and demonstrates the Federal Liberals and Nationals’ Government is backing those Tasmanians who are pitching in to help out our farmers who are doing it tough on the Mainland.  The amendment is a win for Tasmanians donating as it makes it cheaper to get the produce across Bass Strait, and it is a win for Mainland farmers as it makes it possible for Tasmanians to deliver more feed to them.”

The Government will prioritise claims arising from this extension of TFES. Senator Martin was instrumental in lobbying the Federal Government earlier this year to secure the future of the TFES beyond 2019. More information about the TFES can be found on Department of Human Resources website at www.humanservices.gov.au