Dairy grants provide welcome relief for farmers

Wednesday 19 October 2016

THE United Dairyfarmers of Victoria has welcomed the State Government’s rollout of development grants to ease some of the burden caused by the current milk price crisis.

The State Government today announced grants of up to $5,000 will be made available for eligible farm businesses to invest in improving on-farm infrastructure.

“We appreciate the efforts of the State Government in offering direct support to dairy farmers and their communities when it’s most needed,” UDV President Adam Jenkins said.

“There’s still a lot of work needed to restore confidence in the dairy industry and our communities and the grants might not be a lot of money in the long-term, but this is a welcome step in the right direction.”

The development grants will remain open until June 30 2017, or until the program funds are fully allocated and can be used for irrigation, equipment upgrades, and other farm infrastructure.

Mr Jenkins said the UDV had played a key role in getting the grants package across the line and praised the Government for consulting farmers and other industry stakeholders to identify key areas of support.

“Ultimately this is not only about supporting dairy farmers, but also our local communities, who are feeling the flow-on effects of the plunge in milk prices this season,” he said.

“The UDV will continue listening to dairy farmers, lobbying for state and federal support and seeking industry reforms that ensure we don’t see a repeat of milk price claw-backs that have crippled many farmers.”

Farmers can check their eligibility for the grants by contacting Rural Finance on 1800 260 425 or by visiting www.ruralfinance.com.au/Industry-programs.

To access the grants, applicants need to have an ABN, be registered for GST and derive at least 50 per cent of their primary income from farming, while a minimum dollar for dollar co-contribution from the farm business is required to receive the program’s support.

In addition to the development grants, dairy farmers and their families can also apply for:

  • $1.4 million for 15 hours of free kindergarten
  • $1.5 million for camps, sports and excursions
  • $750,000 for Rural Skills Connect employment program
  • $600,000 for targeted dairy technical support
  • $320,000 to extend Rural Financial Counselling services to small businesses
  • Support for retraining through the TAFE system

Media Contacts:

Adam Jenkins, UDV President: 0437 008 806

Ashley Mackinnon, VFF Public Affairs Officer: 0417 165 784