Supporting Our Drought Affected Farmers In Gippsland

The Andrews Labor Government is continuing to support drought affected farmers in the Gippsland region, with ongoing assistance for on-farm infrastructure grants, education, family and mental health support.

Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes visited farms today in the Wellington and East Gippsland Shires to hear first-hand how farming businesses and communities are managing the drought and ongoing dry conditions.

Since the Labor Government announced an additional $25 million in drought assistance in October, there has been strong uptake across East and Central Gippsland, Northern and North West Victoria.

More than 1,000 farm businesses across the state have already applied for the On-Farm Drought Infrastructure Support Grant, with $3.6 million in funding available to farm businesses.

Agriculture Victoria has delivered more than 90 farm-focused workshops offering technical and decision-making support, with more than 1,809 farmers and 520 service providers taking part.

As families look towards 2019 they are encouraged to find out more about the Back to School Program, as well as the Camps, Sports and Excursions fund, which will take applications from late January 2019.

There is also support for families with children in kindergarten, with $1.25 million allocated to assist with fees.

The Victorian Farmers Federation is working closely with the Government in delivering the Look Over the Farm Gate Program.

Under this Program, communities can receive grants of up to $1,500 to run social events and other activities in their area.  For more details visit: lookoverthefarmgate.org.au

For information on available drought assistance, including Commonwealth assistance such as the Farm Household Allowance, farmers should visit the Agriculture Victoria website: www.agriculture.vic.gov.au/dryseasons

Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes

“One of my first priorities as Minister for Agriculture is to get out and about and speak to farmers on the ground about how we can listen and deliver for drought affected communities.”

“Farmers are resilient, capable and innovative, but it is our job to ensure the right support is there and that is exactly what we are doing – every step of the way.”

“My priorities will be driven by the priorities of regional Victorians – helping farmers continue to innovate, prepare for the future and support them in their times of need.”