Emergency Drought Transport Subsidy

The Emergency Drought Relief Package 2020-21 includes $116 million for Drought Transport Subsidies.

The subsidy can be applied to the cost of transporting: fodder, water to a property for stock or domestic use, stock to and from agistment, stock to sale or slaughter.

For applications received from 1 July 2019 the subsidy also includes transporting of farm chemicals, fertiliser and seed to farms.

For applications received from 1 July 2020 the subsidy also includes transport of purchased stock to a farm business.

Since the beginning of the drought, the NSW Government has announced three separate rounds for the transport subsidy program:

  • Round 1 - (2018-19 financial year) - for invoices dated 1 January 2018 to 30 June 2019, offering $40,000 per eligible farm business
  • Round 2 - (2019-20 financial year) - for invoices dated 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020, offering $50,000 per eligible farm business
  • Round 3 - (2020-21 financial year) - for invoices dated 1 July to 31 December 2020, offering $25,000 per eligible farm business

Funding available and possible early closure

The availability of subsidies for this program is subject to funds being available. No subsidy can be offered beyond the allocated funding. Closure of the program is at the discretion of the RAA. RAA will endeavour, but is not obliged, to provide advance notification of an early closure of the program. An applicant’s unawareness of, or lack of notification by RAA, of an early closure of the program will not be grounds for consideration of applications or invoices submitted after the program officially ends.

Invoice dates accepted

When did we receive your application?

What is the maximum distance payable?

Cap that applies

Cut off for invoices

ROUND ONE

1 Jan 2018 – 30 June 2019

Before 30 June 2019 (now closed)

1,500km

2018-19

$40,000 cap

30 September 2019

(now closed)

ROUND TWO - FIRST RELEASE (for applicants who DID NOT apply for round 1)

1 Jan 2018 – 30 June 2019

After 30 June 2019 (now closed)

1,500km

2019-20

$50,000 cap

30 September 2020

(now closed)

1 July 2019 – 30 June 2020

After 30 June 2019 (now closed)

No distance rule

2019-20

$50,000 cap

30 September 2020

(now closed)

ROUND TWO - SECOND RELEASE (for applicants who DID apply for round 1)

1 July 2019 – 30 June 2020

Before 30 June 2020 (now closed)

No distance rule

2019-20

$50,000 cap

30 September 2020

(now closed)

ROUND THREE

1 July 2020 - 31 December 2020

Before 31 December 2020 (now closed)

No distance rule

2020-21

$25,000 cap

31 January 2021

(subject to funds being available)

The Drought Transport Subsidy is available to primary producers in NSW who own and operate a farm business and can be applied to; the cost of transporting fodder, water to a property for stock or domestic use, stock to and from agistment, and stock to sale or slaughter. From 1 July 2020, the subsidy was expanded to include transport of purchased stock to the farm business. Download the Guidelines (PDF, 148.08 KB) for what you can claim (sections 5 -9).

For each claim you need a scanned copy of the following documents:

  • All relevant tax invoices
  • Owner carrier, copies of:
    • Vehicle registration papers
    • Log book entries

Download the Frequently Asked Questions on the Emergency Drought Transport subsidy (PDF, 893.9 KB) scheme.


The subsidy applies to the transport of fodder, water for stock or domestic use, and livestock to pasture, slaughter or sale. The subsidy applies to road or rail transport. For applications received from 1 July 2019, the subsidy also includes transporting of farm chemicals, fertiliser and seed to farms. From 1 July 2020, the subsidy was expanded to include transport of purchased stock to the farm business.

The Government has announced three separate transport subsidy funding periods:

  • Round 1 - (2018-19 financial year) - for invoices dated 1 January 2018 to 30 June 2019, offering $40,000 per eligible farm business
  • Round 2 - (2019-20 financial year) - for invoices dated 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020, offering $50,000 per eligible farm business
  • Round 3 - (2020-21 financial year) - for invoices dated 1 July to 31 December 2020, offering $25,000 per eligible farm business

Invoice dates accepted

When did we receive your application?

What is the maximum distance payable?

Cap that applies

Cut off for invoices

ROUND ONE

1 Jan 2018 – 30 June 2019

Before 30 June 2019 (now closed)

1,500km

2018-19

$40,000 cap

30 September 2019

(now closed)

ROUND TWO - FIRST RELEASE (for applicants who DID NOT apply for round 1)

1 Jan 2018 – 30 June 2019

After 30 June 2019 (now closed)

1,500km

2019-20

$50,000 cap

30 September 2020

1 July 2019 – 30 June 2020

After 30 June 2019 (now closed)

No distance rule

2019-20

$50,000 cap

30 September 2020

ROUND TWO - SECOND RELEASE (for applicants who DID apply for round 1)

1 July 2019 – 30 June 2020

Before 30 June 2020 (now closed)

No distance rule

2019-20

$50,000 cap

30 September 2020

ROUND THREE

1 July 2020 - 31 December 2020

Before 31 December 2020 (now closed)

No distance rule

2020-21

$25,000 cap

31 January 2021

(subject to funds being available)

The following guidelines apply:

  • The subsidy covers up to 50% of the full cost of freight
  • You can claim up to $7.50 per kilometre (+GST). This $7.50 applies to B-double or larger. A $5 maximum per kilometre (+GST) applies to all other vehicle type
  • There is no distance rule
  • Journeys must have been completed between 1 July 2020 to 31 December 2020

To be able to claim the subsidy, the farmer:

  • has flexibility across the 6-month period to claim as needed, when needed, according to farm management decisions and the season
  • must keep tax invoices that include the journey distance and rate for freight
  • should seek professional advice about taxation and other financial implications when applying for a transport subsidy.
  • must provide tax invoices that include the journey distance and rate for freight by 31 January 2020

Yes, providing you are still within the subsidy cap of $25,000 per farm business.

No. The subsidy applies to transport costs of any stock.

As individual circumstances vary, we strongly encourage applicants to seek professional advice as to taxation and other financial implications when applying for a transport subsidy. Contact the ATO Small Business Hotline on 13 28 66 for more information.

Yes. Owner carriers are eligible for the transport of their own livestock and must provide proof of sale or slaughter, registration papers and travelling stock statement.

Yes eligible primary producers can claim the subsidy for the transport of household (domestic) drinking water as outlined in the Guidelines (PDF, 148.08 KB) section 9.

Staff at Local Land Services offices, 37 Service NSW branches and some Rural Financial Counselling centres are available to assist you with your application. Go to the Assistance Near You page on Drought Hub to find staff near you who are available to help or call the Rural Assistance Authority on 1800 678 593.

The NSW Government has always supported transport subsidies as they impact on the welfare of animals during drought. The subsidy applies to road or rail transport. It can be applied to the cost of transporting: fodder, water to a property for stock or domestic use and livestock to pasture, slaughter or sale. For applications received from 1 July 2019 the subsidy also includes transporting of farm chemicals, fertiliser and seed to farms. For applications received from 1 July 2020 the subsidy also includes transport of purchased stock to a farm business.

NSW Government staff are available across the state to assist you to lodge the Drought Transport Subsidy forms. Visit the Assistance Near You map, search your postcode and find a participating office in your area. Please call to make an appointment as not all offices are attended during normal business hours.

Visit Drought Hub for more information on the full range of drought assistance available to NSW farmers.