The Victorian Government has committed $50 million in targeted support for farm businesses and farming communities impacted by drought and dry seasonal conditions.
The funding acknowledges the economic and well-being impacts of ongoing drought and dry conditions to Victorian farmers and there are a number of grant and assistance programs available to support ongoing decision making.
On-Farm Drought Infrastructure Support Grants
A grant of up to $5,000 (ex-GST) is available to assist eligible farm businesses implement on-farm infrastructure that improves drought management and preparedness. Eligible farm businesses are required to provide at least dollar for dollar matching funding co-contribution.
Pasture Recovery and Management Grant Program
A grant of up to $5,000 (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 is available to eligible farm businesses located in East Gippsland and Wellington Shires.
Farm Business Assistance program
A one-off support payment to farm businesses in Wellington Shire and East Gippsland Shire, and eligible farmers in Northern and North-West Victoria.
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
- $2500 for remaining commercial farms in Wellington and East Gippsland Shires
- $2500 for Northern Victorian farmers that are FHA recipients and/or young dairy farmers^.
^ Young farmers are over 18 and under 35 years of age as of 30 June 2019.
Farm Support Fund
A one-off support payment of $2,500 for non-dairy farm businesses that are Farm Household Allowance (FHA) recipients in Northern and North West Victoria, apply via the Farm Business Assistance program.
On-Farm Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate Scheme
The On-Farm Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate Scheme is available to assist farmers impacted by drought and dry seasonal conditions invest in urgently-needed on-farm water infrastructure that addresses animal welfare needs. The rebate funding is being made available by the Australian Government.
Contact Rural Finance on 1800 260 425 or visit ruralfinance.com.au for guidelines and application information.
Farmer workshops and consultations
Agriculture Victoria provides information and advice about stock containment areas, pasture management, animal health and welfare and more – a list of upcoming events is updated regularly.
East Gippsland livestock producers can also engage in one-on-one consultation sessions to assist them to manage current seasonal conditions and access support services. For more information contact Caroline Love, Bairnsdale, 0427 515 668 or Keren Walker, Swifts Creek, (03) 5159 5134.
Agriculture Victoria is providing a one-to-one service in collaboration with Dairy Australia to provide East Gippsland dairy farmers with support and a broad suite of information tailored to their individual needs, including but not limited to: feed budgeting, feed rations, partial budgets, hay and crop decision making, water use and resource management. For more information contact Maria Rose, Maffra, (03) 5147 0843 or David Shambrook, Leongatha, 0427 350 928.
Rural Financial Counselling
The Rural Financial Counselling Service provides free financial counselling to farmers and small related businesses who are experiencing, or at risk of, financial hardship. Counsellors can assist clients to apply for assistance including Farm Household Allowance and grants programs. Contact the RFCS for more information, 1800 686 175 (toll free).
For further information visit Agriculture Victoria Dry Seasons Support or call 136 186.