Primary producers in Queensland will benefit from major improvements to the Farm Management Deposit Scheme to be introduced to the Australian Parliament today.
Queensland LNP Senator James McGrath said the scheme was a critical risk-management tool for farmers, enabling them to put money away during good years in preparation for times of hardship.
“Farming is a high-stakes game, with natural disasters such as droughts and floods causing periods of prolonged financial uncertainty,” Senator McGrath said.
“That is why strengthening the Farm Management Deposit Scheme is so important. It enables farmers to set aside pre-tax primary production income in years of high income to draw from in tough times.
“The changes, due to come into effect in July, include a doubling of the deposit limit from $400,000 to $800,000, allowing financial institutions to offer FMDs as farm business loan offset accounts and the re-establishment of early access provisions in times of drought.”
Senator McGrath said Queensland still faced crippling drought conditions across much of the state.
“Queensland producers have done it tough over recent years. The drought has been relentless. It is during these times that preparation and risk-management strategies are crucial to get through.
“In December 2015, Queensland primary producers had over $760 million put away in Farm Management Deposits including more than 2,300 accounts held by beef producers, more than 1,200 accounts held by sugar growers and 1062 accounts held by horticultural producers.
“It is clear farmers are making the best provisions possible for difficult times. These changes will help make that process even better and more practical,” he said.
To find out more information about the changes to the Farm Management Deposit Scheme visit: http://www.agriculture.gov.au/ag-farm-food/drought/assistance/fmd/
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