The Andrews Labor Government is supporting dairy farmers affected by the global fall of milk prices and the decision by Murray Goulburn and Fonterra to retrospectively cut the prices paid to producers.
Premier Daniel Andrews today announced a $1.5 million assistance package in South Gippsland to deliver supports for affected farmers and the broader community.
The package will ensure dairy farmers and their families experiencing emotional and financial stress get the support they need to help them get through these challenging times and includes:
- $940,000 for extra counselling services and additional funding to Lifeline so that farmers and their families can get the information, advice and support they need
- $345,000 for grants for affected communities so they are better supported to continue to look out for each other and come together to talk about the issues that matter to them
- $150,000 to give 750 people mental health first aid training, giving the community valuable information about mental health issues and where to get help for themselves, their friends or family
- $100,000 boost towards the Look Over the Farm Gate program led by the VFF and the National Centre for Farmer Health. This will include extra community wellbeing workshops and community events
The government has convened a Dairy Industry Taskforce to address how farming communities can be supported by proactive measures led by industry. This will shortly report back to government.
Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford has also met with the banks, calling on the financial sector to better support farmers affected by the dramatic drop in milk prices in Victoria.
The Labor Government is standing with our dairy farmers as they do it tough and won’t let any farmer or community member suffer in silence.
Dairy farmers and their families seeking help, they can phone Lifeline on 13 11 14.
For further information on any of this package, please phone DEDJTR on 136 186.
Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews
“We’re putting farmers and their families first by providing them with the support they need to look after themselves – and each other. “
“Victorian dairy farmers produce world class produce that we’re proud of. Farmers are resilient and proud people, but we know that even the most resilient need support during these difficult times for the dairy sector.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford
“The dairy industry is reeling and farmers need our support now more than ever. Our immediate concern is to support the emotional health and wellbeing of our dairy farmers and communities.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Mental Health Martin Foley
“We’re standing with our farmers as they do it tough and won’t let anyone go it alone. We’ll do our bit to boost critical support services at a time when it’s needed most.”