GIPPSLAND farmers in the dryer parts will receive a welcome gift of hay in time for Christmas thanks to a joint initiative between Regional Roads Victoria (RRV), Fulton Hogan and Engie to turn suitable roadside grass into stock feed.
While not all types of grass can be baled for feed, RRV has identified around 6km of road reserve in Gippsland that was able to be turned into hay.
RRV acting regional director – Eastern, Pas Monacella said around 300 bales of hay would be donated to struggling farmers in the coming weeks, thanks to a partnership with local power company Engie and a group of local contractors.
“The support of local industry and business during a very busy hay season has been instrumental in getting this idea off the ground,” he said.
“People have asked us why this isn’t just standard practice, but unfortunately, there are logistical barriers and quality issues that prevent all roadside grass from being suitable for hay making.
“We identified this section of grass that we knew would be okay for hay, so we jumped at the opportunity to put it to good use.
“Local power company Engie has come on board and helped with the costs of baling the hay, as well as donating grass from their sites as well.
“I would also like to extend a special thanks to Tony Rosato, Fowlers Asphalting, McNeil Contracting, A1 Asphalting and Fulton Hogan who have generously donated trucks and staff to help with this worthy cause.”
A convoy of trucks made up of RRV, Fulton Hogan and other local contractors transported the hay 70km from Hazelwood to a storage facility at Longford.
The Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) will allocate this feed to farmers across the region who are doing it tough.