Further support: Agriculture minister Jaala Pulford said a work program would be expanded to include farm households affected by the dairy crisis.
THE Victorian government is providing more support to Victoria’s battling dairy farmers, extending the Back to Work scheme to make members of a dairy farm household an eligible category of employee.
Under the move, employers will receive up to $5000 when they hire someone from a farm household affected by the dairy crisis.
Agriculture minister Jaala Pulford said the government was “standing with our dairy farming community who are doing it tough and putting farmers first – delivering the support they need now and in the future.”
The state government’sBack to Work Scheme is a keypart of its plan to create jobs and boost economic growth in Victoria.
The government said more than 4000 people across Victoria hadbeen beneficiaries of the scheme so far.
In other developments on the dairy crisis, Upper House Member for Western Victoria James Purcell has called for an urgent review of Victoria’s dairy industry to encompass its transportand power supply arrangements, and the complete milk supply chain from the farm gate.
He also gave a high priority to reforming dairyprocessors’ clawback provisions on milk payments.
Mr Purcell has asked Ms Pulford to direct thegovernment’sDairy Industry Taskforce to liaise with the dairy companies andencourage an industry-driven clawback model that limitedhow retrospective a clawback couldbe and the percentage of that clawback.
Member for South West Coast Roma Britnell this week called in parliamentfor the state government to appoint proactiveregional coordinators to help dairy farmers tackle the crisis.
She said a regional coordinator would assist farmerswork with services to develop a “plan of attack” to get them through the next six months financially.
Mrs Britnell said a coordinator could make a friendly approach to farmers offering assistance.
“Services would identify people they encounter who may be having trouble paying for necessary services.
“The coordinator would then make contact and offer practical assistance,” Mrs Britnellsaid.
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