Supporting farmers through bushfire recovery

Published: 21 January 2020

Trucks carrying bales of hay for the farmers The Victorian Government is supporting farmers affected by the ongoing bushfires with additional assistance to keep their farms running and livestock safe and healthy.

Included in the support are subsidies for primary producers, including apiarists, to pay for emergency farm transport, taking the total of Victorian and Commonwealth recovery payments available to individual farmers to $90,000.

Producers affected by bushfires in Ararat, Alpine, Ballarat, East Gippsland, Glenelg, Golden Plains, Indigo, Mansfield, Northern Grampians, Pyrenees, Southern Grampians, Towong, Wangaratta, Wellington and Wodonga shires will be eligible for the transport subsidy.

The subsidy, to be delivered by Rural Finance, will cover up to 50 per cent of total freight costs, to a maximum of $15,000 (excluding GST) per farm business – with the application period to be open for six months. Applicants can apply for a combination of transport activities under the subsidy.

These subsidies may include transporting of emergency fodder for stock to fire-affected properties, transporting of stock to agistment (including returning stock), sale or slaughter, and transporting of stock drinking water.

Eligibility requirements for a primary producer are based on those that apply for Commonwealth Clean-up and Recovery Grants and Concessional Loans. A maximum distance of 1500km applies to the movement of fodder and stock and 500km to stock drinking water, which must be carted from the nearest practicable source.

Farmers can also access immediate financial support through the Victorian Emergency Relief Assistance Payment (call 1800 226 226) and the Commonwealth Government’s Disaster Recovery Program (call 180 22 66).

For more information on support available to affected agricultural communities, contact Agriculture Victoria on 136 186 or visit the Agriculture Victoria website.