Relief & Recovery

Livestock, fencing and agriculture

Agriculture Victoria field staff are visiting properties affected by fires across East Gippsland and Upper Murray. Agriculture Victoria is also providing information to farmers about managing livestock, crops, water supplies, soils and pastures affected by emergencies.

  • After an emergency, an assessment of livestock for injury is essential.
  • Livestock producers need to be aware that disease can spread more easily following an emergency.
  • We know there has been a mix of dairy, beef and sheep farms affected.
  • A clearer picture is emerging of the extent of livestock losses as we are gaining increased access to the fire ground and more impacted land.
  • Landholders wishing to destroy their impacted livestock need not wait for Agriculture Victoria staff to visit if they are confident of undertaking the task safely and humanely. We do recommend that landholders photograph the animals for insurance claim purposes. 
  • Landholders needing emergency fodder for livestock should contact the Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) on 1300 882 833 between 9am and 5pm or email fodder@vff.org.au.
  • Anyone with large animals including horses or people who keep livestock as pets is able to contact Victorian Farmers Federation for assistance with feed.

Please report any livestock injuries to Agriculture Victoria on 1800 226 226 so that animal health staff can visit and assess the livestock.

A fact sheet summarising support available to bushfire-affected farmers can be found here. Further information about managing the recovery of a farm after a bushfire is also available on the Agriculture Victoria website. 

 

Victorian Emergency Bushfire Response in Primary Industries

$75,000 Grants are now available for fire affected primary producers. You can access guidelines and application form that provide information about the program. 

This program helps pay for the costs of clean-up and other emergency measures including:

  • repairing or replacing fencing and horticultural netting
  • disposing of dead stock
  • rebuilding or replacing damaged or destroyed on-farm infrastructure
  • additional labour costs and more.

The grants are available to farmers (including apiarists) directly affected by the 2019-2020 bushfire disaster events in 15 local government areas: Ararat, Alpine, Ballarat, East Gippsland, Glenelg, Golden Plains, Indigo, Mansfield, Northern Grampians, Pyrenees, Southern Grampians, Towong, Wangaratta, Wellington and Wodonga.

For further information and to apply contact Rural Finance on 1800 260 425, visit ruralfinance.com.au or email governmentservices@ruralfinance.com.au

 

Victorian Bushfire Emergency Transport Support Program

Transport subsidies of up to $15,000 are  available to eligible primary producers directly impacted by the recent bushfires. 

The support is available to bushfire affected primary producers in the local government areas of Ararat, Alpine, Ballarat, East Gippsland, Glenelg, Golden Plains, Indigo, Mansfield, Northern Grampians, Pyrenees, Southern Grampians, Towong, Wangaratta, Wellington and Wodonga.

Eligible primary producers (including apiarists) can claim the subsidy for eligible transport costs that directly address immediate animal welfare and safety needs, including:

  • Transporting of emergency fodder for stock to fire-affected properties
  • Transporting of stock to agistment (including returning stock), sale or slaughter
  • Transporting of stock drinking water.

For further information and to apply contact Rural Finance on 1800 260 425, visit ruralfinance.com.au or email governmentservices@ruralfinance.com.au

 

Farm Household Allowance

The Farm Household Allowance is a Commonwealth Government program that provides assistance to farming families experiencing financial hardship. This program focuses on helping farmers make important decisions to improve their long-term financial situation. The support available includes:

  • a fortnightly payment for up to 4 years in each specific 10-year period
  • supplementary allowances such as rent assistance, telephone and pharmaceutical allowances and a Health Care Card
  • individual case support with a Farm Household Case Officer (FHCO)
  • a financial assessment of the farm enterprise worth up to $1500
  • a $4000 activity supplement that gives farmers an opportunity to develop skills

Visit the the Farm Household Allowance page for more information.

 

Donation of Fodder

Feeding animals is a huge challenge for farmers affected by the fires. If you want to donate fodder, contact the Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) on 1300 882 833 between 9am and 5pm or email fodder@vff.org.au.

Landholders needing emergency fodder for livestock should contact the VFF on 1300 882 833 between 9am and 5pm or email fodder@vff.org.au.

Anyone with large animals including horses or people who keep livestock as pets is also able to contact the VFF for assistance with feed.

Orbost Depot

A private depot is operating at Newmeralla near Orbost and is operating as required (linked to Need for Feed).

254 Joiners Road, Newmeralla.

Open to public but not specific hours, operating as required.

Contact Chris Nixon 0427 541 529

 

Fences 

The Victorian Government will help landholders in bushfire-affected communities repair damaged or destroyed fences between private land and National Parks, State Parks and State forests.This funding will gives farmers the flexibility to not just replace their boundary fences with a standard fence – as per the existing Government program – but to upgrade them, making them fire-resistant and better able to exclude pests such as wild dogs.

The Government will pay half the cost of these boundary fencing upgrades, up to $5,000 per kilometre and will also continue to pay 100 per cent of the restoration costs of fences damaged on private land as a result of machinery used by fire agencies to control bushfires, or fire agency staff cutting through fences to allow access for suppression efforts.

A dedicated fencing coordinator in the Department of Environment, Land Water and Planning (DELWP) will help landowners decide what option will suit them and arrange payment. An assessment of the property and the fence damage must be completed before works are undertaken or any payments can be made, and landholders will continue to pay labour costs and half the cost of materials. 

To access this program or find out more, call DELWP’s Customer Contact Centre, Monday to Friday, 8:00am to 6:00pm on 136 186 – they will help you connect with the DELWP fencing coordinator in your region, who will assist you with fencing options available, and the funding and procurement process. 

Landholders may also access information from a Community Recovery Hub or through local case managers supporting people affected by the bushfires. 

A useful fact sheet about repairing and replacing fencing, as well as general information, can be found here. Further information is also available on DELWP’s Forest Fire Management Victoria website at: https://www.ffm.vic.gov.au/recovery-after-an-emergency/public-land-recovery.

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