Farmers affected by drought are encouraged to visit Mobile Service Centre ‘Desert Pea’ when it is in central west Queensland next week to test their eligibility for income support by lodging a claim, announced Senator the Hon Marise Payne, Minister for Human Services of Australia.
The Ministry has two Mobile Service Centres, known as ‘Desert Pea’ and ‘Kangeroo Paw’, and they travel through rural and regional Australia to provide remote communities with government services.
“Some farming families in central west Queensland have been experiencing financial hardship, but have not been eligible for income support to help with their daily living expenses,” said Payne.
“Both Mobile Service Centres, ‘Kangaroo Paw’ and ‘Desert Pea’ have been visiting drought- affected areas in Northern New South Wales and Queensland. I encourage farmers to visit the Mobile Service Centre, to test their eligibility and apply for the Interim Farm Household Allowance.
“Staff can help farmers to complete and lodge their claim form on board, and refer people to other community support organisations for further assistance.”
Payne said staff on board the Mobile Service Centre have extensive experience in rural servicing and understand the needs of people living in rural and regional communities.
“In fact, the original Mobile Service Centres were known as the ‘drought buses’ and came into service in 2006 as a drought response measure,” Payne said.
“Since 2009, the Mobile Service Centres have travelled over 300,000km to 1400 rural and regional communities across the country and helped more than 50,000 people access Centrelink, Medicare, Australian Hearing and Child Support information, payments and services.”