The Andrews Labor Government is helping farmers take a break from the stresses caused by drought and dry seasonal conditions through a series of weekends away in Melbourne and on-farm music gigs.
Farmers from Wellington and East Gippsland shires, two communities that have been hit hardest by drought, have been supported to travel to Melbourne to take in football games, zoo and Luna Park visits and some of the theatrical spectacles the city has to offer.
Alongside the Labor Government, the weekends have been generously supported by Michael Gudinski and the Mushroom Group, Collingwood Football Netball Club, St Kilda Football Club, Generation Entertainment Group, The Prince Hotel, The Ibis Hotel, The Precinct Hotel, TGI Fridays, Circus Oz, Melbourne Zoo, Luna Park, Melbourne Museum, Storeyboard Entertainment, Marriner Group, Global Creatures, The Melbourne Arts Centre and The Australian Music Vault.
The Gimme a Break weekends are presented in conjunction with gigs played by Mushroom Group artists in barns and shearing sheds around Gippsland – offering farming communities an afternoon off and the chance to relax and support each other through challenging conditions.
The Labor Government’s drought assistance package provides almost $46 million to support farmers through dry conditions and build communities’ future preparedness and resilience.
Alongside cash payments to use wherever cost pressures are highest, the package includes grants for on-farm infrastructure and pasture recovery, and financial counselling and technical workshops presented by experts from Agriculture Victoria.
Dry conditions can bring huge stress for farmers, and the Government has also provided $1.9 million in mental health support to keep rural communities healthy.
For more information about drought support and to apply for funding, visit agriculture.vic.gov.au/dryseasons.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes
“Our farming communities are incredibly tough and resilient but they deserve a weekend without the stresses of drought weighing on their minds.”
“We’re proud to be giving our hardest-hit farmers a break, showing them the best Melbourne has to offer and letting them know all of Victoria is with them.”
“It’s fantastic to see lots of Victorian businesses partnering with Government to thank our farmers for their hard work and give them a break during tough times.”
Quote attributable to Gippsland farmer Helen Milne
“Many thanks for arranging this break. We forgot that there was life away from the farm.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020