Moira Shire will be eligible for federal drought funding after initially being told it missed out, following intervention by Federal Water Minister David Littleproud.
Federal Member for Nicholls Damian Drum confirmed the eligibility publicly last Thursday during a visit to northern Victoria by the Nationals’ federal parliamentary team.
Shire leaders and farmers were annoyed to learn the shire was going to miss out on up to $1 million in drought support funding because it fell just short of eligibility.
The situation was in stark contrast to a case in the Western District of Victoria, where leaders in Moyne Shire were embarrassed to discover they had met the criteria, despite not being in drought.
Federal Agriculture Minister Bridget McKenzie confirmed on Thursday that Moyne Shire was still eligible.
“It’s up to the Moyne Shire whether they apply,” she said.
Mr Drum said he had advised the Moira mayor and chief executive that the shire would be included in the funding.
“Under the mechanism they just failed but the minister has used his discretion … so they can use the funding in the best way possible,” he said.
Moira Shire’s NSW neighbours Berrigan Shire and Federation Shire are both eligible for the drought funding.