GIPPSLAND DAIRY FARMERS HAVE THEIR SAY
The Andrews Labor Government is continuing its extensive consultation with Victorian dairy farmers on the roll out of its $4.5 million community fund – meeting today in Maffra.
Member for Eastern Victoria, Harriet Shing, said it was critical to get feedback direct from affected dairy farming communities on how the support package could assist them.
In May, the Labor Government and the Victorian dairy industry united to deliver an $11.4 million support package for dairy farming communities affected by the global fall in milk prices and decisions by some processors to cut prices paid to suppliers.
The package put together in consultation with the Dairy Industry Taskforce supports dairy farmers and their families experiencing financial and emotional stress.
The package included a $5.2 million industry contribution, comprising $1.4 million from the Gardiner Foundation, $2.8 million from Dairy Australia and up to $1 million from Murray Goulburn. The government and industry support package includes:
• A major expansion of Dairy Australia’s Tactics for Tight Times and Taking Stock programs, providing specialised on farm business support to enable dairy farmers make the best decisions
• $240,000 boost towards the Rural Financial Counselling Service, ensuring dairy farmers can get independent and confidential financial counselling
• $220,000 for two FTE support workers at the United Dairyfarmers of Victoria (UDV) to assist farmers.
As part of the Labor Government’s support package, $1.5 million was committed to boost farmer mental health and wellbeing. More information can be located on the Dairy Farmer Central hub website – http://www.dairyfarmercentral.com.au/
The community consultation meetings taking place across regional Victoria will report their findings back to the Dairy Industry Taskforce at the end of June. Minister for Agriculture, Jaala Pulford will announce how the community fund will be allocated in July.
Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria, Harriet Shing:
“We want dairy farmers in Gippsland to have their say on the best way the Andrews Labor Government can support them both now and in the future.”
“Labor is standing with our dairy farming community who are doing it tough and putting farmers first. We want to make sure the right support is there, especially for young farming families.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford:
“Our dairy industry has a bright future, but they’ve been dealt a cruel blow. We are doing all it takes to listen and consult closely with farmers to get them back on their feet.”