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Requirements Applicable to Widow/Widower or Former Partner

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Basis of eligibility for Widow/Widower or Former Partner

The widow/widower or former partner of an eligible farmer may have been eligible to participate in RAFS on the basis of his or her former relationship with the farmer. In the case of a separated partner this was despite the ending of the relationship.

Requirement for farmer to meet definition of qualifying farmer

For the widow or former partner of a farmer to be able to participate in RAFS, the farmer had to meet the definition of a qualifying farmer on the day on which the relationship between the farmer and partner ended.    

Widow/widower or former partner must not enter new relationship

For the widow or former partner of a farmer to be able to participate in RAFS, he or she must not have commenced a relationship with another person at any time since the relationship with the farmer ceased and prior to the determination under RAFS.

If the former partner enters into a new relationship following determination under RAFS, the deprivation provisions continue to be disregarded.

Widow/widower or former partner must have qualifying interest

To participate in RAFS the widow/widower or former partner of a farmer must have had a qualifying interest in the farm of the qualifying farmer.    

Example of an eligible Former Partner
  1. A married couple who owned a farm jointly and were divorced, but had not reached a property settlement.
  2. The property was still farmed by one partner, but the other had moved off the farm and derived most of their income from employment.
  3. The former partner did not receive any income from the property, and so did not meet the definition of a qualifying farmer. Under these circumstances, the former partner could still participate in RAFS as an eligible former partner of a qualifying farmer.
Example of an eligible Widow

A woman had worked on her husband's farm since 1950. On his death in 1995, she became the owner of the property. Although she did not own the farm for more than 15 years, she was the legal owner as at 15 September 1997 and had worked on the property for more than 20 years. She therefore satisfied the definition of a qualifying farmer.


A person is considered to be a qualifying farmer if they have:

  • held a qualifying interest in the farm for a continuous period of 15 years; or
  • acquired a qualifying interest in the farm before 15 September 1997 and been actively involved in farming in Australia for any period of 20 years.

During either period the person or their partner must have derived a significant part of their income and contributed a significant part of their labour to the development of a farm.

Refer to subsection 5P(3) and subsection 5P(4) of the VEA for the full definition.

 

 

A farmer holds a qualifying interest in a farm if they:

  • have legal ownership of the farm land;
  • hold a pastoral lease over the farm land;
  • hold an equitable interest in general law land which is mortgaged; or
  • are a sharefarmer in a private company that owns or holds a pastoral lease over the farm land.

Refer to section 5P(5) of the VEA for the full definition.