Drought assistance for Ergon Energy customers
If a property is in a drought declared area, or individually drought declared, and the declaration made under a Queensland Government administrative process the landholder may be eligible for drought relief.
Customers can make application for drought relief if:
• They are a customer of Ergon Energy Retail
• They are a farmer of a property that has been individually drought declared or is within a drought declared area
• They have no water to pump or severely restricted access to water
• They complete and submit a Drought Relief application form.
Drought relief assistance available to customers whose application is successful include:
For customers who are mainly using electricity to pump water for farm or irrigation purposes, we will waive the fixed charges on their account. These include annual fixed charges under Tariff 66, service fees and minimum payments. They don't include minimum demand charges. The waiver will continue until the drought declaration has been revoked.
If customers are experiencing financial difficulty as a result of the drought, they can defer payments on electricity accounts that are used for farming purposes. The option to defer will continue until the drought declaration has been revoked. When that happens, repayment terms will be arranged on a case-by-case basis.
Please note, non-Ergon Energy Retail customers can apply for drought relief online at the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy.
A range of tariff options and more information can be found online at https://www.ergon.com.au/retail/business/tariffs-and-prices.
It is recommended customers who are eligible for drought relief review their tariff options or contact Ergon Energy to discuss.
There are also a range of payment options (https://www.ergon.com.au/retail/business/billing-and-payments/payment-options) and business tips (https://www.ergon.com.au/retail/business/business-resources/tips-for-businesses) online.
The Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy have more information about drought resistance schemes available for primary producers at https://www.business.qld.gov.au/industries/farms-fishing-forestry/agriculture/rural-disaster-recovery/drought/assistance which include:
- Drought Relief Assistance Scheme (DRAS) freight subsidies and water infrastructure rebate;
- Land rent rebates;
- Water license waivers.
Community Drought Support Program
Applications for this program have now closed.
The Community Drought Support program, provided by the Department of Communities, Disability Services and Seniors, has been operating successfully for several years in the South West Region, providing support to communities that are affected by ongoing drought. Balonne Shire Council is again participating in this program.
The program aims to support local communities within the Balonne Shire by allocating funds to organisations who demonstrate the ability to deliver events and activities which support connectedness, social wellbeing and increased access to support services for drought-affected community members.
Council invites community organisation/school/sporting clubs to submit a proposal for an activity or event, which meets the objectives of the grant.
Further information regarding the grant objectives can be found in the Community Drought Support guidelines. Events or activities must be completed by 31 December 2018.
Please lodge proposals on the below application form by 4pm Friday 29 June 2018.
Should you require further information please contact Mareea Lochel on 07 4620 8888.
Rotary Drought Relief Assistance Scheme
The Rural Financial Counselling Service (RFCS) provides assistance to primary producers and small rural businesses within Southern Queensland in financial duress.
The service is funded by the Federal Government Department of Agriculture to provide this support with part of the Southern Queensland area serviced by the Roma and St George offices.
RFCS has worked very closely with clients during the drought conditions that have affected our region over the last five years and has strong networks within the region. They have worked with the Rotary Club of Queensland since 2014 to assist with the distribution of the clubs drought appeal funds to producers in need.
These funds are issued in the form of vouchers which can be spent in local businesses in St George, Surat and surrounds.
The system has provided a mutual benefit for the producers as well as the regions small business that experience the effects of the drought conditions on their business trade as well.
Please do not contact Council for further information on this scheme.
For more details contact:
Rural Financial Counselling Service
PO BOX 433, Roma, Qld.4455
P 07 46224858
M 0447 760743
F 07 46223699