is a phrase or descriptor most often used to denote the conditions required to grant additional powers to a government or government leader so as to alleviate, or mitigate, unforeseen or unconventional hardship.
The term is most commonly used in Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...
where it has been applied in various contexts, most recognisably in relation to special drought relief payments for farmers known as Exceptional Circumstances Relief Payments
Exceptional Circumstances Relief Payments
The Exceptional Circumstances Relief Payments or ECRP program was established in 1992 and has continued in various forms since. It provides financial assistance to farmers considered to be experiencing exceptional circumstances. Eligibility is generally determined by geographic location; specific areas are considered to be experiencing worse-than-normal drought conditions and, as such, farmers in those areas qualify for assistance. Farm-dependent small business
A small business is a business that is privately owned and operated, with a small number of employees and relatively low volume of sales. Small businesses are normally privately owned corporations, partnerships, or sole proprietorships...
es may also be eligible for assistance.
In February 2009, the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry is an Australian government department. The Australian Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry’s role is to develop and implement policies and programs that ensure Australia's agricultural, fisheries, food and forestry industries...
announced that the payments would continue for an additional 12 months in 52 areas throughout Australia.
Exceptional Circumstances Interest Subsidy
The Australian Government has also established a program to provide low-interest loan
A loan is a type of debt. Like all debt instruments, a loan entails the redistribution of financial assets over time, between the lender and the borrower....
s via private financial institutions which receive a subsidy from the Government. The program is known as the Exceptional Circumstances Interest Subsidy support scheme.
Qualification is based on terms (geographical location) set by the Exceptional Circumstances Relief Payments program.
Other Australian Government Departments
The term has been used in a range of other governmental contexts in Australia including, but not limited to:
- The Department of Health and Ageing accreditation of aged care facilities.
- The Department of Immigration and Citizenship - visa
A visa is a document showing that a person is authorized to enter the territory for which it was issued, subject to permission of an immigration official at the time of actual entry. The authorization may be a document, but more commonly it is a stamp endorsed in the applicant's passport...
Immigration is the act of foreigners passing or coming into a country for the purpose of permanent residence...
A refugee is a person who outside her country of origin or habitual residence because she has suffered persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or because she is a member of a persecuted 'social group'. Such a person may be referred to as an 'asylum seeker' until...
The term has also been used by various other governments in relation to unconventional circumstances where a head of state
A head of state is the individual that serves as the chief public representative of a monarchy, republic, federation, commonwealth or other kind of state. His or her role generally includes legitimizing the state and exercising the political powers, functions, and duties granted to the head of...
is required to make use of reserve power
In a parliamentary or semi-presidential system of government, a reserve power is a power that may be exercised by the head of state without the approval of another branch of the government. Unlike a presidential system of government, the head of state is generally constrained by the cabinet or the...
The term has also been used to refer to other extraordinary circumstances which might result in a person acting in a manner not ordinarily accepted as common practice, such as the circumstances described by Dr. Muhammad Hedayetullah in relation to the Islam
Islam . The most common are and . : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...
ic prayer, Salah.
- Drought in Australia
Drought in Australia is defined as rainfall over a three month period being in the lowest decile of what has been recorded for that region in the past. This definition takes into account that drought is a relative term and rainfall deficiencies need to be compared to typical rainfall patterns...
- Government of Australia
The Commonwealth of Australia is a federal constitutional monarchy under a parliamentary democracy. The Commonwealth of Australia was formed in 1901 as a result of an agreement among six self-governing British colonies, which became the six states...
- Social Security in Australia
Social Security, in Australia, refers to a system of social welfare payments provided by Commonwealth Government of Australia. These payments are administered by a Government body named Centrelink...
Welfare refers to a broad discourse which may hold certain implications regarding the provision of a minimal level of wellbeing and social support for all citizens without the stigma of charity. This is termed "social solidarity"...