Mobile Service Centre in North-Western NSW to help drought-hit farmers

Wednesday, 05 March 2014

Drought-affected farmers are encouraged to visit Mobile Service Centre ‘Kangaroo Paw’ when it is in north-western NSW next week to test their eligibility for income support by lodging a claim.

Minister for Human Services Senator the Hon Marise Payne said the Mobile Service Centre will be travelling to Menindee, Wilcannia, White Cliffs, Cobar and Nyngan next week to offer farmers assistance with Interim Farm Household Allowance claims.

“Some farming families in north-western NSW have been experiencing financial hardship, but have not been eligible for income support to help with their daily living expenses,” Minister Payne said.

“Both Mobile Service Centres, ‘Kangaroo Paw’ and ‘Desert Pea’, will be visiting drought-affected areas in northern NSW and Queensland. I encourage farmers to visit the Mobile Service Centre when it is near them to test their eligibility and apply for the Interim Farm Household Allowance.

“The Interim Farm Household Allowance has a higher farm assets test threshold, so households with net farm assets of up to $2.55 million can apply for financial support. 

“It will be paid at a rate equivalent to Newstart Allowance (or Youth Allowance for those under 22 years old) and farmers will have access to other assistance such as a Health Care Card.

“Staff can help farmers to lodge their claim form on board and refer people to other community support organisations for further assistance.”

Minister Payne said staff on board the Mobile Service Centre have extensive experience in rural servicing and understand the needs of people living in rural and regional communities.

“The original Mobile Service Centres were known as the ‘drought buses’ and came into service in 2006 as a drought response measure,” Minister Payne said.

“Since 2009 the Mobile Service Centres have travelled over 300,000km to 1400 rural and regional communities across the country and helped over 50,000 people access Centrelink, Medicare, Australian Hearing and Child Support information, payments and services.”

For more information on the Interim Farm Household Allowance, visit humanservices.gov.au/rural or call the Farmer Assistance Hotline on 132 316. 

To see which drought-affected communities the Mobile Service Centre will be servicing next, visit humanservices.gov.au/mobileoffice.

The Mobile Service Centre 'Kangaroo Paw' will visit the following locations:

Town

Date

Time

Stopping
Location

Menindee

Monday 10 March

10 am – 2 pm

Near Menindee Community Hall, Yartla Street

Wilcannia

Tuesday 11 March

9 am – 4 pm

Near
the Centrelink Agent,

Reid
Street

White Cliffs

Wednesday 12
March

9.30 am – 1.30
pm

White Cliffs Store, corner Keraro Road
& Johnson Street

Cobar

Thursday 13
March

9 am – 3 pm

Drummond Park, Linsley Street

Nyngan

Friday 14 March

9 am – 3 pm

Museum car park, Pangee
Street