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#Opinion Failure to learn from previous disasters leaves WA under...

Victorian Nationals

Danny O’Brien – Support for farm clean-up goes missing

Wednesday, 28 February 2024


Farming properties impacted by the recent storm event at Mirboo North and elsewhere in South Gippsland, and Boxing Day floods have been left in the lurch with no funding support available through the state or federal governments.


The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien said it is understandable that local farmers, some of whom are facing clean-up bills of up to $100k for fence and tree clean-up alone, feel as though they have been forgotten by the Labor Governments.


Mr O’Brien said he had written to the Minister for Agriculture asking that funding be made available for these farmers as a matter of priority.


“In addition to clean-up costs, I am aware of farmers who have lost or suffered significant damage to crops of potatoes and snow peas, while the Mirboo North nursery experienced almost 100 per cent plant damage.


“There are clean-up grant arrangements in place which were used following the large storms in June and October 2021 which should be made available now to assist these farmers when they need it most.”


Mr O’Brien said the problem was caused by criteria in the current disaster funding arrangements which requires a certain percentage of a region to be directly affected by the natural disaster before there will be clean-up assistance from the state and federal governments.


“Unfortunately, we now face the same situation we did a month ago when local farmers who were severely impacted by the 2023 Boxing Day floods also missed out on much needed recovery funds.


“It is clear to me that the current funding arrangements are letting our local farmers down and change is needed. The threshold requirement simply doesn’t make sense to me when there are some events, which may be highly localised, that can’t be managed or insured against.


“Farmers do their best to be prepared and take precautionary action but it’s impossible to prepare for severe, localised natural disasters and they really need recovery funding support.”


Mr O’Brien said he had also raised this matter in Parliament with the Minister for Emergency Services and will continue to advocate for a change.

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