Rent relief for drought-stricken properties in the NTMatt Brann and Caddie Brain, Monday June 16, 2014 - 09:45 EST
The Northern Territory Government has today announced that it will not take a year's worth of pastoral rent from cattle stations, if they've been affected by 'drought-like conditions'.
Any Territory cattle station with low rainfall, poor pasture growth and who meets certain financial criteria, will be eligible to have their rent waivered for 2013-2014.
Minster for Land Resource Management, Willem Westra van Holthe, says his department has already identified 39 properties around Alice Springs and the Plenty Highway districts, that will meet the criteria.
"This is not a handout," he said.
"We're just stepping in now to give these guys a hand, realising that they have cash flow issues.
"A waiver of the pastoral rents for the last 12 months could go some way to helping them a bit."
Mr Westra van Holthe says this decision could save some stations up to $14,000.
"For a struggling pastoral property it could make a huge difference."
Tracey Hayes from the Northern Territory Cattlemen's Association welcomed the announcement, saying it shows the Minister has been listening to Central Australian producers.
"He has heard their messages and this has been his response," she said.
"Last year some producers in the Red Centre recorded less than 50 millimetres of rain and then there's been the summer period without a drop. So it's been hard."
For more information about the seasonal hardship package
© ABC 2014
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