Farming communities in northern Victoria will be given support to prepare for drought as part of a new $25 million drought preparadeness and support package.
Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford announced the new package – which features targeted support for mental health, small business planning and support for parents in farming communities to manage cost of living pressures – in Wedderburn on Wednesday.
With dry conditions and extremely low rainfall already causing difficult conditions, farmers in the north of the State can now apply for help through a drought infrastructure grant program.
This includes more than $2 million for mental health and wellbeing services, with $180,000 of this funding dedicated to the National Centre for Farmer Health to deliver health checks to farmers.
It also includes $1 million to make sure wild pest and animal control programs are processed faster and better coordinated regionally.
In addition, farmers across northern Victoria will be able to better prepare for drought with $1 million to provide expert technical and business support to help them make good, early decisions around farm management, including animal health, feed budgeting and land management.
“We know our farmers’ are resilient, capable and innovative, but we need to make sure the support you need is there and that no one goes it alone,” Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford said.
Families in East and Central Gippsland will be able to access $8.45 million in support for education costs, including $2.2 million for back-to-school support, a further $5 million to extend the Camps, Sports and Excursion Fund, and $1.25 million for children attending kindergarten in drought-affected areas.
A further $370,000 will go towards supporting small businesses with planning workshops and mobile mentoring services in East and Central Gippsland.
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