Parts of North and North-West Tasmania have received record rainfalls in the past month, but some East Coast farmers are still waiting for their dry spell to break.
The Tasmanian community has rallied behind efforts to support farmers affected by drought in mainland Australia’s agricultural areas, but the state’s farming body wants the community to remember those closer to home when offering help.
...we’re still in drought situations in Tasmania.Wayne Johnston
Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association president Wayne Johnston said he had contacted his mainland farming association counterparts to offer support, but the body’s attention was on the East Coast.
“We’re talking about the drought on the mainland, but we’re still in drought situations in Tasmania,” he said.
“It’s more of a recognition that there’s still areas in Tassie doing it tough and they’re still looking for some support.
“We need to ensure that we remember them and look after them as before, while we look to our mainland counterparts.”
As the Regional Investment Corporation’s drought map shows, areas within Tasmania’s North-East, East, Midlands, South-East and Flinders Island are still affected by drought.
“[East Coast farmers] probably haven’t restocked because they probably haven’t got the feed down there,” Mr Johnston said.
“The East Coast still hasn’t had run off to fill up dams.”
Mr Johnston said he was unsure exactly what East Coast farmers needed by way of support, but the TFGA was working with other support organisations to find out.
“There’s not a lot of surplus supplies around at the moment. There’s just little bits and pieces [of bales],” he said.
Rural Business Tasmania is the Tasmanian point of contact for farmers in need of support during drought and other crises.
Chief executive Elizabeth Skirving said the organisation supported farmers with counselling, financial planning and debt minimisation services, but could also help with applications for the Farm Household Allowance, which is administered through the Human Services department.
“If they want our help they need to let us know. Unless they ring our office and ask for our help we can’t do anything,” Ms Skirving said.
Contact Rural Business Tasmania on 1300 88 3276 if you need support, or visit www.ruralbusinesstasmania.org.au