The Andrews Labor Government has today announced further support for dairy farmers with $6.7 million of new programs to help them get through the dairy crisis and improve the long term resilience of dairy farm businesses.
The total support package has been boosted from the original $4.5 million package in line with community feedback, with the focus firmly on improving support for young families in the dairy industry and retraining for those who want to leave the industry.
The Labor Government is providing $1.8 million in Dairy Development Grants to assist farmers with their on-farm business, as well as a further $340,000 for Rural Financial Counselling Services to help farming businesses make the right decisions about their future.
The Labor Government knows the importance of investing in and supporting young farming families, which is why education, TAFE subsidies and rural kindergarten grants are a key feature in the community package.
Additional elements to the funding package announced today include:
$1.4 million for dairy farming families to receive 15 hours of free kindergarten per week in the year before school.
$1.5 million for camps, sports and excursions so no child misses out.
$750,000 for “Rural Skills Connect” employment program for farmers.
$600,000 for targeted dairy technical support.
$320,000 to extend Rural Financial Counselling services to small businesses.
Support for retraining through the TAFE system.
It brings the Victorian dairy support package to $13.5 million, which includes mental health and wellbeing support, and on-farm business assistance. The dairy industry has also contributed $5.2 million to support farmers.
Dairy farmers experiencing difficulties can check the support options available to them at: www.agriculture.vic.gov.au/dairysupport or by calling 136 186.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford
“Dairy farming is at the heart and soul of Victorian agriculture – and we want it to stay that way.We said that we would listen and consult with dairy farmers and their communities and we have.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino
“This new funding will help ensure children from farming families get the education and opportunities they deserve.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Children Jenny Mikakos
“We are supporting dairy families doing it tough by making sure all children have access to free kinder.”
Quotes attributable to Acting Minister for Training and Skills Fiona Richardson
“We are proud to support members of our community doing it tough with the quality training they need to re-skill for the future.”