The Victorian Government is providing support and services for farm businesses and rural communities affected by drought and dry seasonal conditions, including one-on-one support delivered by Agriculture Victoria.
Drought and dry seasonal conditions are a challenge for any farm business and the ability to make early decisions is important.
Decision Making Support
Decision making workshops and services delivered by Agriculture Victoria and industry partners provide technical support to assist farm businesses prepare for and manage dry seasonal conditions. Factsheets, videos and information is available on the Agriculture Victoria website on a range of topics including how to build and manage stock containment areas, feeding and managing livestock, farm water management, animal welfare, irrigation, whole farm planning, climate change risk management and business management. The website also lists upcoming events and workshops.
Network groups across the State also support farmers and industry groups to upskill and share information and ideas with fellow farmers. The Young Farmer Business Network and groups such as BestWool/BestLamb, BetterBeef and the Horticulture Industry Network are examples of these programs.
Farm Debt Mediation – Talk can be cheaper
Under Victorian legislation, banks and other creditors must offer to undertake mediation with farmers before they can initiate debt recovery on farm mortgages.
The service is low cost (currently $195 per session, per party), confidential, independent and can help avoid the costs and other consequences of expensive and potentially unnecessarylitigation. Farmdebtmediationisastructured negotiation process where a neutral and independent mediator assists the farmer and the creditor to reach agreement about current and future debt arrangements.
Agriculture Victoria administers the scheme and the Victorian Small Business Commission arranges the mediation service.
Rural Financial Counselling Service
The Rural Financial Counselling Service is a free independent and confidential service staffed by qualified and experienced Rural Financial Counsellors who understand farming and business.
A Rural Financial counsellor can help you understand your financial position, the viability of your enterprise and identify options to improve your financial position. The counsellor can also provide referrals and options for accessing government or industry grants and programs.
Counsellors are available to come to your place of business and have offices located across the State.
Agriculture Victoria contacts
Article kindly provided by Agriculture Victoria