Drought conditions on the East Coast are being monitored by the state government in consultation with rural stakeholders and the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association.
Primary Industries and Water Minister Guy Barnett joined with Rural Business Tasmania to meet with farmers on the East Coast on December 5 with the aim to listen to the concerns of farmers and those in the agriculture industry.
“Whilst the recent rains have been very welcome, it’s clear that parts of the East Coast are still suffering drought conditions,” he said.
The state government is building on its partnership with Rural Business Tasmania with $800,000 funding across four years to ensure farmers and agricultural producers had the support they need.
The funding would help RBT provide Rural Financial Counselling Services, the Rural Relief Fund, and also Farm Business Mentoring to support Tasmanian farmers with business skills, financial literacy, planning and debt mediation.
Mr Barnett also inspected the new 34,000ML Melrose Dam, which was part of the newly constructed $19.5 million Swan Valley Irrigation Scheme for the region North of Swansea.
“Recent rains have provided some inflows to the dam, meaning local irrigators who need water will now be able to access part of their irrigation entitlements this season,” Mr Barnett said.
“This is a positive outcome for the region, where the local irrigators group working with Tasmanian Irrigation are supporting local farmers during a tough season.
“This bodes well for future seasons when the Scheme is fully operational and providing water security to the district.”
Farmers experiencing financial hardship due to drought conditions can apply for Federal drought assistance, or contact RBT for free financial counselling service and other support.
Eligible farmers could also access financial assistance through the Federal loans.
- More information is available online at www.agriculture.gov.au or www.ruralbusinesstasmania.com.au.