Emergency Drought Transport Subsidy

The Emergency Drought Relief Package 2019-20 includes $70 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.

The Government has announced two separate transport subsidy funding periods, with each offering $40,000 per eligible farm business:

  • 2018-19 financial year for invoices dated 1 January 2018 to 30 June 2019
  • 2019-20 financial year for Invoices dated 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020

The table below outlines when a farmer can apply for a drought transport subsidy and select eligibility criteria. Please refer to the Guidelines for full details of the eligibility criteria.

Invoice date

Application Received

Distance Rule

Cap that Applies

Cut Off

1 Jan 2018 – 30 June 2019

Prior to 30 June 2019

1,500km

2018-19

$40,000 cap

30 September 2019

(now closed)

1 Jan 2018 – 30 June 2019

Post June 2019

1,500km

2019-20

$40,000 cap

30 September 2020

1 July 2019 – 30 June 2020

Prior to 30 June 2019

No distance rule

2019-20

$40,000 cap

30 September 2020

1 July 2019 – 30 June 2020

Post June 2019

No distance rule

2019-20

$40,000 cap

30 September 2020

APPLY ONLINE NOW

The application process

Find out what you can claim
What you will need
Apply online or manually
Need help?

 

The Drought Transport Subsidy is available to farmers 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. Download the Guidelines PDF, 289.2 KB for full details of eligibility (sections 3-4) and what you can claim (sections 5 -9).

To receive payment, you will need your bank account details.

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

  • Most recent Local Land Service (LLS) rates notice
  • Tax Invoice for each movement

And, for private vehicles only:

  • Vehicle registration papers
  • Log book entries
  • Travelling stock statement

The online application form has been designed to make the process as simple as possible. We recommend that you have all scanned documents ready to upload before starting the process. We recommend that you use the Google Chrome browser.

If you prefer to download a hard copy of the form, download the manual form and all attachments relevant to the transport costs you are claiming.

You will need:

  • BP reference number
  • ABN number
  • Case number from original application
  • Invoices

Download the Frequently Asked Questions on the Emergency Drought Transport subsidy (PDF, 738.73 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.

The Government has announced two separate transport subsidy funding periods, with each offering $40,000 per eligible farm business:

  • 2018-19 financial year for invoices dated 1 January 2018 to 30 June 2019
  • 2019-20 financial year for Invoices dated 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020

The table below outlines when a farmer can apply for a drought transport subsidy and the eligibility criteria.

Invoice date

Application Received

Distance Rule

Cap that Applies

Cut Off

1 Jan 2018 – 30 June 2019

Prior to 30 June 2019

1,500km

2018-19

$40,000 cap

30 September 2019

1 Jan 2018 – 30 June 2019

Post June 2019

1,500km

2019-20

$40,000 cap

30 September 2020

1 July 2019 – 30 June 2020

Prior to 30 June 2019

No distance rule

2019-20

$40,000 cap

30 September 2020

1 July 2019 – 30 June 2020

Post June 2019

No distance rule

2019-20

$40,000 cap

30 September 2020

Farmers who apply for the Drought Transport Subsidy in the 2019/20 financial year are able to claim for invoices dated 1 Jan 2018-30 June 2019 in the current year subsidy cap.

Invoices dated 1 Jan 2018 - 30 June 2019:

  • The subsidy will cover the costs of transporting fodder and water and stock to or from agistment, between 1 January 2018 and 30 June 2019.
  • Note: A distance limit of 1,500km applies to all Drought Transport Subsidy claims with invoices dated from 1 Jan 2018 - 30 June 2019
  • If you applied for drought transport subsidies before 30 June 2019, round one funding closed on 30 September 2019.

Invoices dated 1 July 2019 – 30 June 2020:

  • From 1 July 2019 the subsidy also includes transporting of farm chemicals, fertiliser and seed to farms.
  • These invoices will be included under the 2019-20 subsidy cap for existing and new applicants.
  • Note: No distance limit applies to claims with invoices dated after 1 July 2019.

The following guidelines apply:

  • The subsidy covers up to 50% of the full cost of freight
  • You can claim up to $5 per kilometre (+GST). The maximum subsidy amount is $2.50 per kilometre
  • The maximum distance of any single journey is 1,500 kilometres
  • Journeys must have been completed between 1 January 2018 to 30 June 2019

For example:

  • cattle farmer based in Dubbo purchases a truck-load of hay from outside Bordertown, South Australia
  • journey is 1,000 kilometres at a cost of $5 per kilometre
  • farmer pays $5,000
  • the farmer will receive a $2,500 Transport Subsidy from the Government if he has not reached the subsidy cap and meets other criteria.

To be able to claim the subsidy, the farmer:

  • must provide tax invoices that include the journey distance and rate for freight by 30 September 2019
  • should seek professional advice about taxation and other financial implications when applying for a transport subsidy.

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 2019 to 30 June 2020

To be able to claim the subsidy, the farmer:

  • has flexibility across the 12 months 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 30 September 2020

No. For all transport costs incurred after 1 July 2019, the maximum eligible distance limit of 1,500 kilometres no longer applies.

The maximum eligible distance limit of 1,500 kilometres still applies for applications for journeys invoiced between 1 January 2018 and 30 June 2019.

You can only apply for the subsidy after you have received a valid tax invoice.

Yes, providing you are still within the subsidy cap of $40,000 per farm business over 18 months from 1 January 2018 to 30 June 2019.

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

Assets held within the trust would be considered off farm assets unless the trust is used to operate the farming enterprise.

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, 289.2 KB) section 9.

To be eligible, primary producers must demonstrate that:

  • They are the owner and operator of a farm business in NSW
  • The business operates as a sole trader, partnership, trust or private company and trades agricultural products.The business is registered with the Australian Taxation Office as a primary producer, and have an Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • The owners and operators of the business earn more than 50% of their gross income from the primary production enterprise under normal seasonal circumstances. Businesses in the “New Entrant” category are exempt from this criteria (see below)
  • The business is being negatively impacted by drought conditions
  • The owners and operators of the business do not have gross off-farm assets exceeding $5,000,000 (excluding funds in a registered superannuation fund)
  • Payments will be made on receipt of eligible tax invoices.

When assessing eligibility for the Drought Transport Subsidy program, a new entrant is considered as any farming operation that commenced between 1 July 2015 and 30 June 2018.

When assessing eligibility for the Farm Innovation Fund or the Drought Assistance Fund, the “new entrant” category refers to any farming business that began operations 12 months to three years prior to the date of application.

The “new entrant” category has been added to recognise and support people new to farming who would otherwise be ineligible for some drought assistance measures while they build their business.

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.

The NSW Government is committed to continually assessing conditions and listening to our farmers. The effects of the current drought is continuing and compounding and NSW has had its driest start since 1982. The Emergency Drought Relief Package 2019 offers measures in recognition of the severity of this drought event.

For invoices issued prior to 6 August 2018 that do not itemise transport costs the Rural Assistance Authority DOES NOT require those invoices to be reissued.

Where necessary the RAA will request additional information from the supplier to verify either the cost of the specific transport or the rate per km utilised. This could be provided via email directly to the RAA or via the applicant.

If needed the RAA may ask the farmer to complete a statutory declaration however this will be on rare occasions where the transport costs cannot be identified in any other way.

If you have more questions about the Emergency Drought Transport subsidy scheme, please contact the Rural Assistance Authority on 1800 678 593.

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.