More government support for northern dairy

Further State Government support for the northern dairy industry

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MORE SUPPORT: Agriculture Minister Jaclyn Symes has announced more financial support for the northern dairy industry.

MORE SUPPORT: Agriculture Minister Jaclyn Symes has announced more financial support for the northern dairy industry.

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There's more funding for financial counselling and direct drought support.

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The State Government has announced more support to help farmers in northern Victoria manage the effects of dry seasonal conditions and secure their long-term future.

Agriculture Minister Jaclyn Symes says a further $2.7million will be provided to northern dairy farmers, who continue to be affected by drought and high input costs.

"Our dairy farmers in northern Victoria are still doing it tough after extended dry conditions - and this funding boost will ensure they continue to get the support they need to make their farm businesses more resilient," Agriculture Minister Jaclyn Symes said.

"I would urge everyone impacted by drought and dry seasonal conditions to visit the Agriculture Victoria website and apply for the support that's available to them."

Water Minister Lisa Neville said the government understood the challenges many irrigators were facing, with high temporary water prices, and was looking at what else it could do to help ease the pressure, particularly for the dairy industry.

Read more: Victorian Government flags potential changes to water market rules

Extra support will go to additional financial and business counsellors on the ground for farmers and small businesses in Shepparton and Swan Hill

Nearly $1 million has been allocated to the North East and North West Rural Financial Counselling Services.

The funding boost will also support Regional Development Victoria to partner with Murray Dairy to re-establish the Rural Skills Connect program

Ms Symes said more than $315,000 was being provided to support dairy farming families and farm workers seeking off-farm income to develop new skills and use their existing expertise to gain new employment.

She said the government's On-farm Drought Infrastructure Support program had received more than 3,400 applications since it began late last year.

An extra $1.4 million boost would ensure North and North West, Central and East Gippsland farmers continue to receive up to $5,000 to improve the preparedness and resilience of their farms.

The new Navigating Farm Development decision support tool and Panel of Animal Industry Experts initiative, was also launched, to help farmers and local government navigate planning and permit requirements for animal industries.

Ms Symes said it was hoped they would help make it easier for dairy farmers and local government to plan their infrastructure investments, and transition to more intensive farm systems, if they choose.

The dairy industry had helped shape the support package and the government was committed to working with Victorian farmers to ensure the right support was on hand, when and where it was needed most.

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