A PEAK farming body is calling on the state government to help farmers who are recovering from the recent storm and flooding event.
The Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) wrote to the state government last week, urging them to provide assistance to farmers.
VFF president Emma Germano said the federation requested government grants to help farming businesses devastated by the vicious storm event.
“Fencing, pasture rehab, road repair, new stock water pumps; these are the types of things farmers need help with,” Ms Germano said.
“Thousands of farmers were hit by this devastating storm and ensuing floods with the damage bill running into the hundreds of thousands of dollars for many of these farmers. This warrants government assistance.”
The VFF also requested the Victorian government make an application for Category C Relief and Recovery Assistance through the National Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA) to allow for the provision of relief and recovery grants for primary producers.
“I do not think the scale and impact of this enormous disaster has been fully appreciated. There are many farmers that have had 80 per cent, 90 per cent of their farm underwater, lost large numbers of stock and have had their fences wiped out.”
Ms Germano said the government’s recent announcement of an Agriculture Recovery Manager was “inadequate”.
“The farming community is supporting each other through this difficult time, it’s time for the government to do their share.”
On Monday, the state government announced a dedicated Agriculture Recovery Manager would work with farmers hit by the recent storms and floods as assessments of damage in affected areas continued across the state.
The state government urged farmers in Gippsland, the Yarra Ranges and Central Highlands to access existing support across a range of emergency programs triggered by the severe weather event.
Agriculture Victoria has reached out to more than 3700 farmers in affected regions to monitor urgent animal welfare needs and record property, horticultural and livestock impacts.
About 750 farmers who have indicated they have been affected are being called and offered advice and referrals to appropriate support services.
The Agriculture Recovery Manager will assist farmers during the months ahead with a focus on providing technical advice for issues including stock health, nutrition and feed budgeting, fencing, pasture recovery and grazing management, soil erosion and dams and waterways.
Minister for Agriculture Mary-Anne Thomas saw the effects of the disaster across Gippsland on Monday, which at this stage has a reported 492 stock losses, 258 hectares of crops lost, 5496 hectares of pasture loss, 622km of fences destroyed, and 91 structures lost including sheds, pumps and farm buildings.