Wheat

Drought Program showing financial support for farmers

Tuesday 4 March, 2008
The 2008 Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority (GB CMA) Drought Employment Program (DEP) is starting to show financial support for drought stricken farmers.

The 2008 Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority (GB CMA) Drought Employment Program (DEP) is starting to show financial support for drought stricken farmers.

The first month of the program has seen 77 participants enter the program. The teams have completed over 3,000 hrs of work and 1300 hrs of training.

A local farmer and participant of the program Mr. Bryan Fitzsimmons said the program so far has had a huge impact on his life financially and mentally.

"I really enjoy the Drought Employment Program because I can socially interact with other blokes, get away from the farm and I am getting money to provide for my farm and family. "

"There is still a lot of work to do on the farm, I have 120 cows that need milking and feeding twice a day and my wife has been an enormous help in taking over the reins while I do the program. "

"I rise at 5am and get the cows up, my wife milks them in the morning and then in the evening when I get home from work we milk again and feed them, my day finishes up at 7pm. I am really exhausted by the weekend but it is all worth it," said Mr Fitzsimmons.

The GB CMA is now recruiting for more drought affected farmers to participate in the next round of the program which starts in March.

GB CMA Manager of Strategic River Health Mr Wayne Tennant said that additional positions are envisaged to start in March with the Highlands Landcare Group, Department of Sustainability and Environment and City of Greater Shepparton coming on board.

Richard Warburton, Project Manager of the DEP said a variety of projects have commenced to date including fencing of frontages on rivers, water savings through the rehabilitation of measuring equipment and weed control.

Farmers , farm worker and farm service providers who are drought affected and your regular employment and income has been adversely affected by the drought are advised to contact Skilled Shepparton on 03 5831 8719.

The program has continued to be a success, with the ongoing support of partners including, the Department of Primary Industries, Parks Victoria, Goulburn Murray Water and Shire of Moira.

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For more information please contact Stacey Brauman at Impress Publicity on 0400 644 637