Member of Lions Club – State Parliament
The ongoing drought conditions in many parts of East Gippsland have been unnecessarily replicated by a funding drought, with money for the government’s On Farm Water Infrastructure Program allowed to run out.
Nationals Gippsland East MP, Tim Bull, said he was aware that up to 18 eligible applicants have been either been left out of pocket for drought proofing projects they have already commenced or have been told to wait until more funding can be obtained.
“A Hillside farmer has been left waiting on payment for the second stage of her water infrastructure improvement project after being encouraged to split the application for the grant into two instalments, to reflect the staged implementation of the works being undertaken,” he said.
“The grant was paid upon the completion of the first stage so she went ahead with the second stage but has now learned that the government can’t meet its earlier commitment to the second instalment.
“Many farmers in East Gippsland are affected by a lack of water for livestock and while there has been enough rain to support pasture growth, so far there has been little run off into creeks and dams.
“It is critical that the drought support measures that have been implemented to date are not allowed to fail because the government’s attention is being diverted elsewhere.
“I have asked the minister to honour existing funding commitments to drought affected farmers for works in progress and to confirm that additional funds will be provided to enable this program to continue.”
Image courtesy of Visit Victoria Content Hub