Appeal assistance

31 Jul, 2002 10:00 PM
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FARMERS in dry areas can get financial help from the St Vincent de Paul-WAFarmers Drought Assistance Program.

The appeal last year raised more than $500,000. It still has funds available.

Farmers who experienced drought conditions last year are eligible. Producers facing drought this year can apply but their application would not be processed until August 1.

Funds are also available to farmers with an equity at the last budget review of 75pc or less.

Farmers can get up to $2000 for livestock feed, freight rebates, seed purchases and water. There is up to $500 for crisis counselling. Farmers who received Exceptional Circumstances funds would get a maximum of $1000.

More than 100 farmers had received assistance.

The scheme had also provided funds for six stand pipes in Lake Grace to help 120 farmers provide water for stock and assistance to transport stockfeed to affected areas.

Application forms were available from shire offices, WAFarmers and the St Vincent's website: www.vinnies.org.au/WA/Events.cfm

Two major banks have also offered farmers in drought areas some respite.

Westpac and the Commonwealth Bank have released details of drought relief arrangements.

Key elements of Westpac's offer include:

pCarry on finance for stock feed, agistment and seed purchases

pRestructuring of existing loans without additional fees

pdeferred payment on credit card debt, suspension of home loan payments, no early withdrawal fees on term deposits.

The Commonwealth Bank's package includes carry on finance, fee loan restructures, interest only facilities and extended terms.

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