Farmers across central and east Gippsland impacted by drought have a number of programs available to them to help manage through these challenging times and prepare their farm business for the future.
Central and east Gippsland drought coordinator Prue McTaggart is available to discuss the support available at a local level from government and other agencies. You can phone her on 5152 0480 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The following grants are available through Rural Finance. For more information phone 1800 260 425 or visit rural finance.
Pasture Recovery and Management Grants
A grant of up to $5000 (ex-GST) is available to assist eligible farm businesses implement pasture restoration and other land management activities that may aid in pasture recovery. Eligible farm businesses are required to provide at least dollar-for-dollar matching funding co-contribution.
The program will accept applications for expenditure incurred on or after January 1, 2019.
The program is available to eligible farm businesses located in East Gippsland and Wellington shires.
On-Farm Drought Infrastructure Support Grants
Grants of up to $5000 are available to eligible farm businesses in the East Gippsland and Wellington shires. Eligible farm businesses are required to provide at least dollar-for-dollar matching funding co-contribution.
The grants will assist farm businesses implement on-farm infrastructure that improves drought management and preparedness.
Farm Business Assistance Program
The Farm Business Assistance program will provide a one-off support payment to farm businesses in Wellington and East Gippsland shires. Eligible farmers are invited to apply for a one-off payment of: $3500 for Farm Household Allowance (FHA) recipients and young farmers in Wellington and East Gippsland shires.
There is also $2500 for remaining commercial farms in Wellington and East Gippsland Shires.
On-Farm Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate Scheme
This scheme is available to assist farmers impacted by drought and dry seasonal conditions invest in urgently needed on-farm water infrastructure that address animal welfare needs. Farmers are encouraged to contact Rural Finance for eligibility.
Rural Financial Counselling Service (RFCS)
RFCS provides free financial counselling to farmers and small related businesses who are in, or at risk of, financial hardship.
Phone Rural Financial Counselling Service – Eastern on 1300 045 747.
Agriculture Victoria technical and decision-making support and information
Agriculture Victoria also works with a range of partners to provide workshops for all Victorian farmers to help them make the most of seasonal conditions. These can be part of an ongoing program or arranged specifically if the need arises. To seek more general information about events and to discuss if it is possible to hold a session in your area, drop into or call your local Agriculture Victoria office or phone the customer service centre on 136 186. Remember the latest information is always available at agriculture.vic.gov.au/dryseasons.
The Gippsland Farmer is a monthly agricultural newspaper reporting on rural news and distributed FREE and direct to an area covering from Cann River through to South Gippsland. For more than 40 years Gippsland Farmer has reported on a range of issues and industries including dairy, beef, vegetables, sheep, goats, poultry, organic farming, and viticulture.