Frustration Due To Slow Response To Flood Recovery

AUSTRALIA - The Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) is disappointed that the Victorian Government has still made no commitments for the ongoing support needed by flood affected farmers.
calendar icon 11 March 2011
clock icon 2 minute read

VFF President Andrew Broad said that while the Government was quick to act in providing immediate emergency support following the January floods, the Federation has not received a response from the Government in relation to its detailed proposal for ongoing recovery support.

“In the days following the floods the Government rose to the challenge and provided flood affected farmers with recovery grants and assisted the VFF in establishing an emergency fodder donation program,” Mr Broad said.

“However it has now been five weeks since the VFF provided a detailed proposal outlining the ongoing clean-up and recovery programs that will be required by the farm sector and we have had no response from the Government.

“The floods have caused significant damage to Victoria’s rural landscape. Huge volumes of crops have been lost or damaged with some grain growers having to leave rotting crops in paddocks. Horticulturalists have also seen significant damage from the wet weather and from fungal attack.

“The VFF believes the most important task for government is to assist farmers to re-establish the productive capacity of farms. The most effective way to assist communities to recover is to kick-start local economies.

“In our submission to the Government the VFF called for additional grant assistance beyond the $25,000 clean-up and restoration grants; Rural Recovery Officers to assist in the massive task of clean-up and recovery; and support for the reconstruction of Crown land boundary fences.

“The recent Federal Government decision to not extend EC declarations will place more pressure on farmers. While the VFF congratulates State Minister for Agriculture Peter Walsh for appealing the EC decision, we are now at a stage where more must be done on the ground to assist our vulnerable farmers throughout the full recovery process.

“It is time to get moving on the next phase of the recovery and to do so farmers need the support of their State Government,” Mr Broad concluded.

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