The Andrews Labor Government and the Victorian dairy industry have united to deliver an $11.4 million support package for dairy farmers affected by the global fall in milk prices and decisions by some processors to cut the prices paid to their suppliers.
The support package put together in consultation with the Dairy Industry Taskforce will ensure dairy farmers and their families experiencing financial and emotional stress get the support they need.
This package includes a $5.2 million industry contribution, comprising $1.4 million from the Gardiner Foundation, $2.8 million from Dairy Australia and up to $1 million from Murray Goulburn. The government and industry support package includes:
- A major expansion of Dairy Australia’s Tactics for Tight Times and Taking Stock programs, providing specialised on farm business support to enable dairy farmers make the best decisions
- $240,000 boost towards the Rural Financial Counselling Service, ensuring dairy farmers can get independent and confidential financial counselling
- $220,000 for two FTE support workers at the United Dairyfarmers of Victoria (UDV) to assist farmers.
As part of the dairy support package, the Labor Government has set aside $4.5 million to support affected farming communities and will consult on how these funds are best spent.
Last week the Labor Government announced a $1.5 million mental health wellbeing package for dairy farmers. This included extra counselling services, mental health first aid training, support for community events and a $100,000 boost towards the Look Over the Farm Gate program.
Information about support that is available for dairy farmers can be found on the Agriculture Victoria website: http://agriculture.vic.gov.au/agriculture/dairy/support-for-dairy-farmers or by calling 136 186.
For dairy farmers and their families seeking help, they can phone Lifeline on 13 11 14.
Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews
“We’re putting dairy farmers and their families first by providing them with the support they need to look after themselves – and each other. “
“The Labor Government stands behind our rural communities, and we won’t let any farmer or community member go it alone.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford
“We know that this is a tough time for Victorian dairy farmers, and now more than ever it’s crucial that the industry comes together.”
“With this assistance package we are ensuring that dairy farmers have access to needed support, be it financial counselling or on farm business support to make sure they can make the best decisions for their farm.”