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The storm and flood event that occurred in the Hilltops and Cootamundra/Gundagai LGA's on 5 February 2019 has been declared a natural disaster.  Natural disaster relief loans are available to primary producers, small business, non-profit organisations and sporting and recreation clubs.

  Loan amount   Loan term   Interest rate    Loan purpose
Primary producers   $130,000  10 years  1.37% • continue to operate your farm business for the next twelve months or until the next income is received
• replace and repair damage caused to the property and associated improvements not covered by insurance.
 Small business  $130,000  10 years  1.37% • return to its normal level of trading or until the next major income is received within 12 months from the date of disaster
 • replace and repair damage caused to your small business and associated improvements not covered by insurance
 Non-profit organisations  $25,000  5 years  1.37% • for the restoration of essential facilities that have been damaged or destroyed by a natural disaster
• temporary storage or leasing of alternate premises
 Sporting and recreation clubs  $10,000  5 years  1.37% • meet the costs of restoring essential club facilities, equipment or other assets that have been damaged or destroyed by a natural disaster

A natural disaster assistance transport subsidy is available to eligible farmers who are affected by a declared natural disaster event. This subsidy pays for the cost of transporting:
• fodder and/or water to an affected property
• stock to sale or slaughter
• stock to/from agistment.

NSW Treasury grants for sporting and recreation clubs Further assistance may be provided to sporting and recreation clubs and associations for clean-up and removal of debris.

 A grant of up to $2000 is available to any single applicant from NSW Treasury.

To obtain an application for the grant assistance, contact NSW Treasury on 02 9228 5181 or send a request via e-mail to

From 1 January 2018 eligible small businesses (generally with less than $2 million turnover) will not be required to pay duty on certain types of insurance, including:

> Commercial vehicle insurance - for a motor vehicle used primarily for business purposes

> Commercial aviation insurance – for an aircraft used primarily for business purposes

> Occupational indemnity insurance (or professional indemnity) - covering liability arising out of the provision of professional or other services (other than medical indemnity insurance)

> Product and public liability insurance – insurance covering liability for personal injury or property damage occurring in connection with, or arising out of the products or services of, a business.

In order to receive the insurance duty exemption for your small business, you need to provide a small business declaration to your insurer. A declaration is only valid for one income year, so a new declaration will be required each income year.

Changes to Youth Allowance for students from rural and remote areas came into effect on 1 January 2018.

Previously students had to work for 18 months before they could be considered independent. Students from a rural and remote area now only have to work for 14 months since leaving school and earn 75% of wage level A (75% is $24,836) to be classified as independent. Parental income must be less than $150,000.

NB: Students not from rural or remote areas or students whose parental income exceeds $150,000 still need to work full-time (average 30 hours per week) for at least 18 months within a 2 year period to be considered independent.

The NSW Government has announced a new Drought Transport Fund that will provide up to $20,000 in low interest loans, with a two-year interest and repayment free period.

The loans, available through the Rural Assistance Authority are intended to help with the cost of transport for water, feed and livestock. The loan term is 7 years. While available to offset the cost of transport, farmers are required to have a pre-approved loan before organising transport.

The Drought Transport Further information and application forms can be found at


We have recently partnered with Richard Hewitt from Hewitt Advisory to provide a complete solution for all our clients' lending needs, including agri, commercial, equipment finance and home lending.

Hewitt Advisory is an accredited Finance Broker and will assist to ensure that your interest rate and lending structure is both competitive and suitable for your needs.

Richard is available to help you 'present' your business to potential investors, rather than just 'applying for a loan'. He will conduct a comprehensive review and analysis of your business, prepare a detailed cash flow with production schedules and explanation, provide an assets and liability statement, compile all the detailed information required, submit your credit presentation to the most suitable lenders, and work with the selected lender through the formal credit approval process.

Regular communication and on-going support is provided as part of the service.

If you would like further information about how Hewitt Advisory could assist your business, please speak to your local Twomeys Accountant.


The Farm Innovation Fund is a loan based initiative to assist farmers within NSW to identify and address risks to their farming enterprises, improve permanent farm infrastructure, ensure long term productivity and sustainable land use plus aiding in meeting changes to seasonal conditions.

Funding by way of a loan is available to meet the cost of carrying out permanent capital works in four main categories: drought preparedness, environment, farm infrastructure and natural resources.

For more information:


The cap on making deposits to FMDs for primary producers has increased from $400,000 to $800,000 per individual.

FMDs give primary producers the ability to defer income by allowing a deduction on money contributed.


Progressive reductions in the company tax rate have now been legislated:

  • 27.5% in 2017 for companies with a turnover less than $10 million
  • 27.5% in 2018 for companies with a turnover less than $25 million
  • 27.5% in 2019 for companies with a turnover less than $50 million
  • 27% in 2025 for companies with a turnover less than $50 million
  • 26% in 2026 for companies with a turnover less than $50 million
  • 25% in 2027 for companies with a turnover less than $50 million


Ahead of the 2017 State Budget, the NSW Government announced a housing affordability package. This includes a range of measures to support first home buyers, such as:

  • abolishing stamp duty on all homes (existing and new) up to $650,000
  • reducing stamp duty for all homes (existing and new) between $650,000 and $800,000
  • providing a $10,000 grant for the building of a new home worth up to $750,000 (including building a home on vacant land)
  • providing a $10,000 grant for the purchase of a new home worth up to $600,000
  • abolishing insurance duty on lenders mortgage insurance


  • Extend the $20,000 immediate write-off for depreciable assets for businesses with an turnover of less than $10 million to 30 June 2018
  • Limiting plant and equipment depreciation deductions to outlays actually incurred by investors in residential properties from 9 May 2017. Investors who purchase plant and equipment for their residential investment property will be able to claim depreciation over the effective life of the asset. However, subsequent owners of the property will be unable to claim depreciation deductions for plant and equipment purchased by a previous owner of that property
  • No deduction will be allowed for travel expenses relating to inspecting, maintaining or collecting rent for a residential investment property from 1 July 2017
  • Increase the Medicare levy from 2% to 2.5% from 1 July 2019
  • First homebuyers will be able to make voluntary superannuation contributions of up to $15,000 per year and $30,000 in total from 1 July 2017. Concessional contributions and earnings on contributions will be taxed at 15% in the fund. Contributions and associated earnings can be withdrawn for a first home deposit from 1 July 2018 onwards. Concessional contributions and earnings that are withdrawn will be taxed at the taxpayer's marginal rate less a 30% offset.
  • Individuals aged 65 and over will be allowed to make a non-concessional contribution to superannuation of up to $300,000 from the proceeds of selling their home.
  • The Taxable Payments Reporting System will be extended to contractors in the Courier and Cleaning industries from 1 July 2018
  • From 1 July 2018, purchasers of newly constructed residential properties or new subdivisions will be required to remit the GST directly to the ATO as part of settlement
  • From 9 May 2017, foreign residents will be denied access to the CGT main residence exemption
  • Foreign owners of residential property will be charged at least $5,000 per year if their property is not occupied or genuinely available for rent for at least six months per year
  • Foreign ownership in new property developments will be capped at 50% from 9 May 2017
  • The CGT discount will be increased from 50% to 60% for investors in affordable housing
  • The HECS and HELP repayment threshold will decrease to $42,000 with a 1% repayment rate from 1 July 2018. The threshold is currently $55,874 with a minimum 4% repayment rate.