Catchment management authorities in north-western Victoria are now seeking expressions of interest from drought affected farmers, farm workers and other individuals following the expansion of the Drought Employment Program.
The Andrews Labor Government announced a $3.15 million expansion of the program last month as part of the Drought Support Fund. The Labor Government had committed an initial $1 million to the program last November.
The Catchment Management Authority (CMA) Drought Employment Program employs people in communities affected by drought to undertake a range of environmental projects. These include works such as weed and rabbit control works, watering revegetation sites, fencing off rivers and native vegetation and activities to improve soil health.
Premier Daniel Andrews, together with Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water Lisa Neville and Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford, discussed the program with CMA representatives and Drought Employment Program staff at a breakfast at Lake Tchum near Wycheproof today.
Under the expansion, the Wimmera, North Central and Mallee Catchment Management Authorities will establish additional crews to undertake part-time and full-time work for up to six months.
The program is open and eligible farmers in the West Wimmera, Horsham, Northern Grampians Shires and in Ararat Rural City can now also access the program through the Glenelg Hopkins CMA.
Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews
“The expansion of the Drought Employment Program is a key element of the $10 million Drought Support Fund supporting farmers, small businesses, families and communities impacted by drought.”
“This will help drought affected communities by providing an alternative income stream to more farmers and farm workers affected by the prolonged lack of rainfall.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water Lisa Neville
“The Drought Employment Program not only provides an income stream to farmers and farm workers impacted by drought but has significant positive environmental outcomes.”
“The program has employed 43 people in north-western Victoria to date and the $3.15 million extension means many more drought affected farmers and workers will now be able to get off-farm income.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture and Regional Development Jaala Pulford
“We are working side-by-side with farming communities to ensure they are supported both on and off farm.”
“The impacts of ongoing dry conditions are felt widely and that’s we are taking action to support rural communities.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020