A number of support options are available for businesses affected by drought in East Gippsland and Wellington Shires.
Rural Financial Counselling Service
The RFCS provides free financial counselling to farmers and small related businesses who are in, or at risk of, financial hardship. Counsellors can assist applicants to apply for the Farm Household Allowance.
A dedicated Small Business Financial Counsellor has been appointed in the Central and East Gippsland region to support non-agricultural small businesses impacted by drought conditions.
Ph: 1800 686 175 (toll free)
Eastern RFCS: 1300 045 747
On-Farm Drought Infrastructure Support Grants Program
Grants of up to $5,000 (ex-GST) are available to eligible farm businesses in Wellington and East Gippsland Shires. Eligible farm businesses are required to provide at least dollar for dollar matching funding co-contribution.
The grants program will assist farm businesses implement on-farm infrastructure that improves drought management and preparedness.
Ph: 1800 260 425
One-on one consultation sessions for producers
Agriculture Victoria is continuing to provide East Gippsland producers with the opportunity to engage in one-on-one consultation sessions to assist them to manage current seasonal conditions and access support services.
For more information contact Agriculture Victoria:
Caroline Love - Bairnsdale
Mob: 0427 515 668
Keren Walker - Swifts Creek
Ph: (03) 5159 5134
Maria Rose - Maffra
Ph: (03) 5147 0843
David Shambrook - Leongatha
Ph: (03) 5662 9999
Sarah Killury - Maffra
Ph: (03) 5147 0845
Regional Drought Coordinator
The coordinator acts as a key point of coordination at the local level, providing information on drought services, support options, emerging risks and pressures in their region.
Prue McTaggart - Agriculture Victoria, Bairnsdale
Ph: (03) 5152 0600
Community Resilience Program
East Gippsland and Wellington Shires are eligible to receive funding to support community events that bring communities together, build resilience and raise awareness of drought support services.
Other small infrastructure projects such as improvements to community hubs, halls and precincts will also be considered.
For information contact:
East Gippsland Shire Council
Ph: (03) 5153 9500
Wellington Shire Council
Ph: (03) 5142 3050