Ahead of the NSW state election on 25 March 2023, the NSW Government caretaker period has commenced. Limited updates will be made to this website during this period.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Critical Producer Grant?

The Critical Producer Grant program is designed to provide additional recovery funding to primary producers in targeted industries including agriculture, horticulture and aquaculture, with tiered levels of support dependent on industry sector.

It’s part of the NSW and Australian Government’s co-funded $150 million Primary Industry Support Package, which aims to support the recovery, rebuilding and resilience efforts of primary producers and industries significantly impacted by severe weather and floods that occurred from February 2022.

Who can apply for the Critical Producer Grant?

Primary producers who were affected by the NSW severe weather and floods that occurred from February 2022 onwards, and who operate in the following industry sectors:

  • Agriculture including dairy, extensive livestock (sheep and cattle), intensive livestock (pork and poultry), apiculture and broadacre cropping.
  • Horticulture including turf, vegetables, berries, cut flowers and plant nurseries, tree crops (nut crops, tea tree etc).
  • Aquaculture including oysters, mussels and fisheries.

How much funding is available under the Critical Producer Grant program?

The NSW and Australian Government’s committed $100 million to the Critical Producer Grant program. The amount of financial assistance available to primary producers varies, dependent on industry and sector, with grants ranging from $30,000 up to $100,000 per eligible applicant.

How much can I claim?

Funding is tiered, dependent on industry and sector, with grants ranging from $30,000 up to $100,000 per eligible applicant, as follows:

  • Up to $100,000 – Dairy
  • Up to $75,000 – Extensive livestock (sheep and cattle); broadacre cropping; turf production; perennial tree crops
  • Up to $50,000 – Apiculture; intensive livestock (pork and poultry)
  • Up to $30,000 – Aquaculture; fisheries; other horticulture such as vegetables, berries, cut flowers and plant nurseries.

Why do I need to completely draw down the $75,000 Special Disaster Grant before I can access Critical Producer Grant funds?

The Critical Producer Grant is intended to complement the Special Disaster Grant, providing additional funding to primary producers in targeted industries who have sustained damages above $75,000. This is validated through the assessment and validation of eligible tax invoices. Once the full $75,000 has been claimed, approved Critical Producer Grant customers can access the additional funding to support their recovery.

My industry is not considered as a targeted industry for a Critical Producer Grant. Can I apply anyway?

No, only primary producers in eligible industries are eligible to apply for funding under the Critical Producer Grant.

If my total primary production income derives from multiple industries (eg, livestock and cropping), can I claim for both?  

No, the Critical Producer Grant can only be claimed once per ABN. If the total primary production income is derived from multiple industries, income will be assessed to determine which industry and sector is most appropriate.

What if I have more than one type of crop? Can I apply more than once?  

No, a producer can only submit a single application based on their primary production enterprise. Primary production is demonstrated by representing 50% or more of their total gross income per annum.

How were grant amounts for each targeted industry determined?

The Department of Regional NSW conducted extensive analysis to better understand and document the direct damage experienced from the severe weather and floods that occurred from February 2022. This has been supported by direct engagement through state and regional recovery subcommittees, industry working groups and direct consultation with industry representative organisations. This has informed the targeted industries which are prioritised under the Primary Industry Support Package, as well as the grant amounts for each targeted industry.

Do I have to repay the grant?

This is a grant not a loan, so you do not need to repay the funds.

Is the grant only available in certain Local Government Areas (LGAs)?

To be eligible for the Critical Producer Grant, applicants must be primarily based in one of the LGAs that were disaster declared under AGRN 1012 for severe weather and floods that occurred from February 2022 onwards. A full list of eligible LGAs is provided in the program guidelines and on the RAA Natural Disaster Declarations webpage.

What can I apply for under the Critical Producer Grant?

Eligible producers can apply for funding that will address or respond to impacts of the severe weather and flood events. Eligible activities are outlined in the program guidelines and are specific to each sector. Please check the guidelines for eligible expenses prior to applying. Funding cannot be used for activities already covered by insurance or other government funding programs.

How do I submit a Critical Producer Grant application?  

Applications for the Critical Producer Grant must be submitted online via the RAA website. Please view the example application documents if you are unsure about the process.

How long do I have to apply for a Critical Producer Grant?

Applications must be submitted by 30 June 2023. Late applications will be considered by the RAA only in exceptional circumstances.

How long do I have to complete works and spend approved funding?

All projects funded by the Critical Producer Grant must be completed and all funds expended by 31 May 2024. All invoices to claim payment must also be submitted to the RAA by 31 May 2024. The RAA may ask you about progress and evidence and can also proceed with an audit at any time.

Can I apply for the rebate before I have incurred the expenses?  

Yes, application forms can be completed online before costs are claimed. You can submit invoices later using the Claim Request form on our website. Invoices can be submitted up until the closing date. Please note, approved applicants must first draw down completely on their Special Disaster Grant of the full $75,000 before accessing approved funding under the Critical Producer Grant.

How will I get paid if I am successful?  

All Critical Producer Grant funds will be paid via milestones. Milestone values will be advised if successful and will be dependent on the value of your claim. Approved applicants must first draw down completely on their Special Disaster Grant of the full $75,000 and the Funding Deed must be fully executed before accessing these funds. For more detail on payments and reporting requirements please refer to the industry guidelines available on the RAA website.

Can I claim fodder expenses under the Critical Producer Grant?

Yes, provision of feed supply to assist in animal production can be claim under the Critical Producer Grant, however you can only claim 50% of the total grant amount. For example, if a dairy applicant has been approved for the maximum grant amount of $100,000, they can only claim $50,000 in fodder.

I’ve submitted a Special Disaster Grant application already – do I still need to lodge an application for the Critical Producer Grant?

Yes, to be considered for the Critical Producer Grant you must lodge an application for that program, even if you have already submitted an application for the Special Disaster Grant. These are two separate programs and applications for each need to be assessed and validated independently.

Can I apply for a Critical Producer Grant without submitting an application for the Special Disaster Grant?

No, a Special Disaster Grant application must be lodged before a Critical Producer Grant application can be progressed. If you have submitted a Critical Producer Grant application but have not submitted a Special Disaster Grant application, the application will be re-directed to the Special Disaster Grant team. You will be required to complete a Special Disaster Grant application form as well. The RAA will hold your Critical Producer Grant application until your Special Disaster Grant application has been processed.

A wooden bridge on my property has been damaged due to the floods. Can I rebuild the bridge with more resilient materials (i.e. concrete and steel)?

Yes, the Critical Producer Grant provides the ability for grant funding to be utilised to restore and rebuild directly damaged essential infrastructure to a standard that is more resilient and withstands future disasters.

I have damage to gravel roadway and tracks from the floods. Under the future resilience component can these be repaired using concrete or bitumen?  

Yes, the repair or replacement of storm and flood damaged infrastructure to be more resilient and withstand future disasters an eligible expense under the program. Applicants must demonstrate that the infrastructure was damaged by the severe weather and flood event and has not already been repaired and claimed under the Special Disaster Grant. Photos and a statutory declaration may be required.

Can I purchase a second turf harvester for my business as this would increase the profitability of my business?

No, as the purchase of a second harvester would be considered a business decision and does not meet the eligible activities listed in the guidelines for the program.

Can I claim the dry hire costs for my own equipment?  

No, applicants can only claim running costs (i.e. fuel and oil) and their labour costs for using their own equipment. Where an applicant identifies ‘lost opportunity cost’ or similar regarding the use of equipment for recovery purposes it is recommended they hire additional machinery to undertake the recovery work and claim the lease costs.

I sold stock at a lower price due to flood impact, can I claim this?  

No, producers cannot claim the price difference for livestock where they sold animals at a price lower than they repurchased.

Can I use the Critical Producer Grant to purchase new irrigation equipment?  

Yes, irrigation pumps are an eligible item and can be purchased to replace infrastructure damaged or destroyed during the storm and flood event.

Can multiple entities apply for the Critical Producer Grant using the same Class A Aquaculture Permit?

No, under the Critical Producer Grant only one Class A Aquaculture is eligible per Aquaculture grant.

If I’m in aquaculture, can I claim licence fees from 2021-2022 as eligible expenditure?

No, only licence fees incurred after your region was disaster declared can be included as an eligible expense.

I am a new aquaculture business and have not yet lodged an Annual Aquaculture Production Return but was in production, can I submit an application?

Yes, applications from new industry entrants can be submitted and will be assessed on a case-by-case basis by the Rural Assistance Authority.

I have more than one Class A Aquaculture Permit in more than one estuary. Can I submit more than one application?

Applications are restricted by production enterprise. Where a production enterprise is across multiple estuaries only one application can be submitted for the Critical Producer Grant per Australia Business Number (ABN) for all damage incurred.

My costs have been greater than the amount specified for my sector - can I claim for the actual costs incurred?  

No, the Critical Producer Grant is capped for each industry sector and has been designed to support overall industry recovery. Where applicants have incurred recovery costs greater than the grant limit these will need to be funded by the applicant as part of their recovery activities.

What evidence of project costs do I need to provide?  

Supporting documentation and evidence required to demonstrate costs or damage is specific to each industry. Please view the program guidelines available on the RAA website for further details.

Can I submit invoices from a non-recognised supplier?

Yes, however you may be required to provide some additional documentation to support your claim.

The RAA expects that all invoices submitted are from a recognised supplier and that the works undertaken are consistent with that supplier’s normal course of business. When assessing claims, the RAA considers the ABN, trading name and address of the entity that has issued the invoice to you, as well as their website, social media or other advertising.

If you are claiming for a product purchased from a non-recognised supplier, such as a related party or another farming enterprise, the RAA will request that the original invoice from the recognised source supplier be provided, as well as proof of payment to the related party or farming enterprise. This is to ensure that there is no double claiming of the same product. It is also to ensure that any product on sold from one applicant to another is done so without additional costs included.

If you are claiming for a service using a non-recognised contractor, we may also request that you provide a third party quote and/or photographic evidence of the damages and the completed works.

If I have unclaimed invoices from the Special Disaster Grant, can I submit them under the Critical Producer Grant?  

Yes, if the invoices are for eligible Critical Producer Grant activities.

What invoices will be accepted to receive additional milestone payments?  

All invoices are to be dated from 22 February 2022 and addressed to the applying entity.

What information do I need to provide with my application?  

For the Agriculture and Horticulture industries, you'll need to provide your LLS Rates Notice or your Land and Stock Return for the storm and flood impacted property. If you're the lessee of a property you'll need to provide a copy of the Lease Agreement.

If you're in the Aquaculture industry, you will need to provide your Class A Aquaculture Permit or your NSW commercial fishing business licence.

I don’t have a copy of my Local Land Service (LLS) rates notice or LLS Land and Stock return?

LLS can send you a copy of your LLS rates notice and/or LLS land and stock return. Request a copy on 1300 795 299.

Is the grant applied per business or property?  

The grant funding is available per ABN.

I have multiple properties under one ABN, can I submit multiple claims?  

No, only one application per ABN will be eligible.

I have more than three properties, but the application form only allows me to enter the details of three – what should I do?

You should enter the details of the properties where majority of the damage was incurred. If you require further information, please contact the RAA directly on 1800 678 593.

Is GST included in any payment received? 

No. The GST component of any invoice received can be claimed on completion of the applying entities’ Business Activity Statement (BAS). The RAA will not issue a Recipient Created Tax Invoice (RCTI) on payment of the grant, and applicants should retain the ‘payment advice’ that is forwarded as a record for taxation purposes.

How does the RAA protect itself against fraud?  

The RAA has a strong commitment to fraud prevention, detection, and response. Making a fraudulent application, including providing false or misleading information is a criminal offence which carries a maximum penalty of 2 years imprisonment, or a fine of $22,000, or both. The RAA will also attempt to recover any assistance received as a result of fraud. More information can be found on our Fraud and Corruption page on our website.

Where can I get additional assistance? 

  • Rural Financial Counselling Service
    If you are experiencing any issues completing the application form, free confidential assistance is available from your local Rural Financial Counselling Service: 
    Southern Region: 1800 319 458 
    Northern Region: 1800 344 090 
  • Translations 
    If you need assistance with interpreting or translating, please contact Multicultural NSW on 1300 651 500 or email languageservices@multicultural.nsw.gov.au.
  • Rural Assistance Authority (RAA)
    If you have any further questions regarding programs being delivered via the Rural Assistance Authority, please contact the team on 1800 678 593 or at rural.assist@raa.nsw.gov.au.