News

Grants provide infrastructure

By Rodney Woods

More than 2300 applicants have been assisted by the Victorian Government’s On-Farm Drought Infrastructure Support Grant program, including Creightons Creek sheep farmers Mark and Annette Radford.

The grant allowed the Radfords to purchase extra water tanks to improve an existing stock containment area and to take part in programs like BestWool/BestLamb to increase their farm’s productivity.

‘‘I’m part of Landcare so Kerry Robson from Gecko CLaN in Benalla suggested people apply for it,’’ Mr Radford said.

‘‘I thought it fitted pretty well with what we were trying to do. We’ve got a stock area and a containment area but it wasn’t really well watered and we didn’t want stock running out of water every day.

‘‘So by putting these tanks in and collecting the run-off and having it plumbed into the pump, we can put water in the tanks and those stock in the containment area will be serviced very well.

‘‘We will be able to leave them for a few days at a time and have a clear conscious that they will be watered and fed.’’

Agriculture Minister Jaclyn Symes, who visited the Radfords’ property on Thursday, said the majority of grants were being used for water infrastructure.

‘‘Basically (the fund can be used for) anything that can help make it easier during the dry conditions,’’ she said.

‘‘Obviously it’s much easier to feed all your animals if you can bring them in to closer confinement — but there is a lot of water infrastructure (works).

‘‘Frankly, water efficiency is what it all comes down to.’’

The Labor Government’s On-Farm Drought Infrastructure Support program provides up to $5000 to help farms prepare for drought and dry conditions across central and east Gippsland, northern and north-west Victoria.

As a part of the almost $30million support package to help Victorian farmers, the government has also delivered technical decision-making workshops through Agriculture Victoria to more than 2000 farmers since May.

■For advice and information about workshops, visit: agriculture.vic.gov.au/dryseasons