Primary producers have been given more time to lodge drought assistance claims because of impacts of COVID-19 on processing times.
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries, Mark Furner, said the delivery of drought assistance is considered a critical service in their COVID-19 response.
“I strongly encourage you to apply for drought assistance electronically as there most likely will be significant delays in postal claims and it will make it easier to distribute claims to our staff working from home for processing,” Mr Furner said.
“Scanned claims complete with copies of the relevant tax invoices can be lodged electronically. They can be sent by email to email@example.com.”
He said the government will accept applications after the invoice date from six to 12 months as some producers may also experience delays in preparing their applications.
“This extension will apply to claims lodged from March 11, 2020 when the World Health Organisation declared COVID-19 a pandemic.
“I’d like to point out this provision will not apply to applications that were late prior to this date and I will still make decisions for an exemption for these older claims on a case-by-case basis.”