The Andrews Labor Government will extend its support for fire affected farming communities in south west Victoria with additional mental health support and livestock fodder.
Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford joined Member for Western Victoria Gayle Tierney to announce the extra support for those eligible in fire-affected areas.
The Labor Government is partnering with the Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF), funding $300,000 to carry out a fodder drive, where critical feed will be provided for affected farmers to address essential fodder needs.
The Labor Government also announced $100,000 for the ‘Look Over the Farm Gate’ program to extend mental health support for farming communities.
Financial support already announced for affected individuals in Colac-Otway, Corangamite, Moyne and Southern Grampians local government areas through the National Disaster Relief and Recovery effort includes:
- Personal Hardship Assistance Payments – to help meet immediate needs with payments of up to $540 per adult and $270 per child (up to a maximum of $1,890 per household), including emergency food, shelter, clothing, and personal items.
- Emergency Re-establishment Assistance – up to $40,700 per eligible household affected by fire at their primary place of residence. The grants are available for eligible clean-up, emergency accommodation, repairs, rebuilding (principal residence), and replacing some damaged contents.
Agriculture Victoria regional staff are working with farmers by providing assistance with animal welfare concerns and technical support to manage farms that have been impacted by fires.
Agriculture Victoria is assessing damage, which will inform the need for additional assistance. Farmers seeking assistance or wishing to report livestock impacted by fires should call (03) 5336 6721. For more general agricultural advice on recovery after fire call the Customer Service Centre on 136 186.
The Rural Financial Counselling Service is also available to farmers, offering free and independent financial support to primary producers and non-agriculture related small businesses. The Service can be contacted on 1300 735 578.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford
“We know that these fires have devastated farming families – it’s a cruel blow. But we want to assure every member across the community that we are listening and we care.”
“We’ve acted quickly – working closely with the VFF to activate the fodder relief drive and provide much needed ongoing community mental health support.”
Quote attributable to Member for Western Victoria Gayle Tierney
“Farmers across our south west are resilient, but even the toughest need support. The Andrews Labor Government always stands with our regional communities in tough times, and we will do it again.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020