Senate debates

Monday, 23 March 2020

Questions without Notice

Coronavirus

2:54 pm

Photo of Anne RustonAnne Ruston (SA, Liberal Party, Minister for Families and Social Services) Share this | Hansard source

The government has a range of programs to support agriculture because we recognise that agriculture is one of the most fundamental essential services in Australia at this time. For instance, the farm household allowance, which gives farming families the assistance they need through these tough times just to get food on the table, received a boost this morning. I thank all of those opposite for supporting the final set of amendments to that particular bill to assist our farmers—who are doing it tough not just because of the coronavirus but also because of the drought they have been in for quite a sustained period of time—and those others that have been impacted by bushfire. We've also invested more into rural financial counselling services so farmers can access timely advice when they need it. We are also very conscious of the mental health of our farmers and our farming communities and we want to make sure, through our mental health measures, that we are supporting our farmers. So we have boosted that, as well as boosting concessional loans and taking generous taxation measures to support our farming communities.

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