My question is to the Minister for Small Business.

Many small business owners and primary producers in my electorate, in the Towong, Alpine and Indigo Shires, have applied for the $10,000 Small Business Bushfire Support Grant in the wake of the disastrous 2019-20 bushfires.

Notwithstanding the existence of discrete ‘exceptional circumstances’ provisions for that grant, it unfortunately appears that many applicants’ claims for support have been rejected – because of the near-universal application of the strict 40% revenue decline rule.

For clarity, I therefore ask the Minister: how many people have sought to be considered for ‘exceptional circumstances’ eligibility, and what percentage of them have been assessed by Rural Finance as successfully meeting those criteria?

I also ask if the Minister can outline what appeal or complaint processes are potentially available to people who are dissatisfied that they have been rejected for the grant.