The Victorian government has announced more support to help farmers in northern Victoria manage the effects of dry seasonal conditions and secure their long-term future.
Agriculture Minister Jaclyn Symes said a further $2.7 million would be provided to northern dairy farmers, who continue to be affected by drought and high input costs.
«Our dairy farmers in northern Victoria are still doing it tough after extended dry conditions and this funding boost will ensure they continue to get the support they need to make their farm businesses more resilient,» Agriculture Minister Jaclyn Symes said.
«I would urge everyone impacted by drought and dry seasonal conditions to visit the Agriculture Victoria website and apply for the support that’s available to them.»
Water Minister Lisa Neville said the government understood the challenges many irrigators were facing, with high temporary water prices, and was looking at what else it could do to help ease the pressure, particularly for the dairy industry.
The extra support will put additional financial and business counsellors on the ground for farmers and small businesses in Shepparton and Swan Hill.
Nearly $1 million has been allocated to the North East and North West Rural Financial Counselling Services.
The funding boost will also support Regional Development Victoria to partner with Murray Dairy to re-establish the Rural Skills Connect program
Ms Symes said more than $315,000 was being provided to support dairy farming families and farm workers seeking off-farm income to develop new skills and use their existing expertise to gain new employment.
The government’s On-farm Drought Infrastructure Support program had received more than 3400 applications since it began late last year.
An extra $1.4 million boost would ensure North and North West, Central and East Gippsland farmers continue to receive up to $5000 to improve the preparedness and resilience of their farms.
The new Navigating Farm Development decision support tool and Panel of Animal Industry Experts initiative, was also launched, to help famers and local government navigate planning and permit requirements for animal industries.
Ms Symes said it was hoped they would help make it easier for dairy farmers and local government to plan their infrastructure investments and transition to more intensive farm systems if they chose.
The dairy industry has helped shape this support package and the government was committed to working with Victorian farmers to ensure the right support was on hand, when and where it was needed most.