17 February 2012
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator Joe Ludwig, today announced that following independent advice of the National Rural Advisory Council (NRAC) and improved seasonal conditions, an Exceptional Circumstance (EC) declaration in the River Murray and Lower Lakes Corridor would expire as scheduled on 31 March 2012.
The South Australian River Murray and Lower Lakes Corridor EC-declared area includes the towns of Langhorne Creek, Meningie, Murray Bridge, Waikerie, Renmark, Berri and Loxton.
NRAC considered that improved seasonal conditions and irrigation allocations in the River Murray and Lower Lakes Corridor area gave producers the opportunity to return to typical farm management practices. The improvement in seasonal conditions, after years of drought and low irrigation allocations, is very encouraging for farmers and their families.
NRAC advised that it considered a majority of the area had undergone a seasonal recovery and noted this was supported by a 100% allocation against irrigation entitlements for 2011-12.
NRAC also considered information from the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES), the Department of Primary Industries and Regions South Australia (PIRSA), as well as local producers. Observations from on-ground inspection of the EC-declared area were also considered in the assessment.
Through the Transitional Income Support program, farmers coming out of EC declared areas can apply for up to 12 months of income support.
Information on Transitional Income Support is available from Department of Human Services or by phoning the Farmers Assistance Line on 1800 050 585.
Details of NRAC’s recommendation can be found on the DAFF website.