The Victorian Government and the Victorian dairy industry have united to deliver an $11.4 million support package for dairy farmers affected by the global fall in milk prices and decisions by some processors to cut the prices paid to their suppliers.
The support package put together in consultation with the Dairy Industry Taskforce will ensure dairy farmers and their families experiencing financial and emotional stress get the support they need.
This package includes a $5.2 million industry contribution, comprising $1.4 million from the Gardiner Foundation, $2.8 million from Dairy Australia and up to $1 million from Murray Goulburn. The government and industry support package includes:
- A major expansion of Dairy Australia’s Tactics for Tight Times and Taking Stock programs, providing specialised on farm business support to enable dairy farmers make the best decisions
- $240,000 boost towards the Rural Financial Counselling Service, ensuring dairy farmers can get independent and confidential financial counselling
- $220,000 for two FTE support workers at the United Dairyfarmers of Victoria (UDV) to assist farmers.
As part of the dairy support package, the government has set aside $4.5 million to support affected farming communities and will consult on how these funds are best spent.
The government announced a $1.5 million mental health wellbeing package for dairy farmers. This included extra counselling services, mental health first aid training, support for community events and a $100,000 boost towards the Look Over the Farm Gate program.