1 August 2018

Fire-affected farmers need answers

The Victorian Farmers Federation says farmers must not be left to bear the full brunt of the devastating south-west fires following the release of Energy Safe Victoria’s (ESV) technical reports into the blazes.

One of the ESV reports released yesterday indicates additional investigations will occur into The Sisters fire at Garvoc, which involved a termite-infested power pole. Investigations will also continue into the Terang fire, which involved clashing powerlines.

United Dairyfarmers of Victoria President Adam Jenkins said he looked forward to the further investigations resulting in a positive outcome for farmers, and that resolution was urgently needed.

“This has been a traumatic time for all farmers affected, and any further delays only serve to make the situation worse. Affected farmers must be compensated as quickly as possible,” said Mr Jenkins.

“UDV is calling on ESV to complete their investigations as soon as possible. We will continue monitoring progress and want answers for farmers without delay.”

Victorian Farmers Federation President David Jochinke said the VFF would closely follow developments in the investigations and the implementation of any recommendations.

“Farmers have suffered losses as a result of these fires and need to be compensated. Our priority is the welfare of the farmers and ensuring steps are taken to prevent similar fires occurring in the future,” said Mr Jochinke.

“Any findings resulting from these further investigations must be adopted as a matter of urgency.” Additional ESV reports indicate no further investigation will occur in relation to the Gazette fire at Yatchaw, the Gnotuk fire, the Minjah fire and the Warrnambool-Cobden fire at Laang, despite all involving trees hitting powerlines.

The March 2018 fires burnt thousands of hectares, killed over 2,000 livestock, and damaged hundreds of farm businesses. Many in the region are still trying to get back on their feet after the devastation.

For media inquiries, please contact Andrew MacDonald on 0418 282 875 or (03) 9207 5524

About the VFF
The Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) is dedicated to representing the interests of farmers and making a positive difference to their businesses and communities. We strive to create an environment for our members, our farmers, that enables profitable, safe, sustainable production to ensure an enduring social licence in a community that respects and values the sector.