Member for Narracan Gary Blackwood has called on the State Government to support the dairy industry after price cuts this week by Fonterra and Murray Goulburn.
Mr Blackwood said a number of farmers had already spoken to him about how they would be negatively impacted by the drop in price and has called on Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford to direct her department to assist farmers wherever possible.
‘Dairy farmers this week have contacted me very concerned about their future, with many uncertain about the industry moving forward and how they will deal with the loss of income,’ Mr Blackwood said.
‘Farmers are often the last to ask for help when they face hardship and I believe it is vital the State Government proactively provides all the assistance it can.
‘This decision by Murray Goulburn and Fonterra is something that will have a severe impact on the dairy industry as well as the wider Gippsland economy with less income meaning farmers will be forced to cut back on investment and more.’
Farmers experiencing financial difficulty can access free and confidential financial counselling by phoning the Rural Financial Counselling service in Ellinbank on 5624 2286.
Farmers experiencing financial hardship may also be eligible for the Commonwealth’s Farm Household Allowance payment. Additionally, people experiencing difficulties are encouraged to call Lifeline on 13 11 14.