Towong Shire

Support for the Dairy Industry

Support for the Dairy Industry

Towong Shire Council is an active member of the Alpine Valley's Dairy Inc Committee.  Alpine Valleys Dairy Inc is currently reviewing the Alpine Valley’s Dairy Pathways Project strategic plan initiated in 2013.  The review will measure the success of various aspects of the plan prior to a new strategic plan being developed and delivered.  The revised plan will acknowledges the current opportunities and issues facing the current dairy scene in the Alpine Valleys.

The Alpine Valleys dairy industry is currently experiencing challenging economic and seasonal conditions.  The Victorian Government is supporting the regional dairy industry with a range of assistance packages and programs:

  • health and wellbeing support
  • on-farm business advice and decision-making support
  • a Dairy Development Grants Program to support dairy farmers implement farm improvements and help businesses rebuild
  • a Rural Skills Connect Program which uses the transferable skills in the dairy community to meet rural industry skill gaps, promotes reskilling and provides opportunities for traineeships
  • a Kindergarten Fee Subsidy which provides dairy farming families with 15 hours of free kindergarten per week in the year before school
  • additional payments for dairy farm families under the Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund
  • dedicated Small Business Counsellors in the Rural Financial Counselling Service
  • increased funding for the Rural Financial Counselling Service
  • further Targeted Dairy Technical Support
  • Back to Work scheme subsidies.

For more information on the State Government’s dairy support programs, visit Agiculture Victoria's website.

Locally, Murray Dairy are supporting the dairy industry through a range of programs and workshops.  For more information, visit the Murray Dairy website.

In response to Murray Goulburn’s and Fonterra’s decision to reduce farm gate milk prices, the Australian Government released a Dairy Support Package.  For more information on the Australian Government’s Dairy Support Package, visit http://www.agriculture.gov.au/ag-farm-food/drought/assistance/dairy-support-package.

The Farm Household Allowance is a program available through Centrelink to assist agricultural businesses in times of difficulty. More information on the program is available here: https://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/services/centrelink/farm-household-allowance . Alternatively, phone the Farmer Assistance Hotline on 132 316. Please note that wait times to the Farmer Assistance Hotline are significantly lower than to other areas of Centrelink.

Rural Financial Counselling is available as a free and confidential service to all agricultural businesses and service businesses. The Rural Financial Counselling Service, Victoria, North East, can be contacted on http://www.rfcsvicne.org.au/  or by calling 1300 834 775.

 

Rural Skills Connect

The Rural Skills Connect Program engages with people impacted by the downturn in the dairy industry who need to seek new employment or explore new opportunities through training.

Rural Skills Connect is a program funded by the Victorian Government and is aimed at providing employment and training guidance for dairy farmers, their family members or employees, and affected dairy farm service providers.

Dairy industry personnel have a broad range of skills and knowledge that position them well as job-ready candidates within the region. The program’s aim is to identify transferable skills and as required, further develop them to meet local workforce needs.

This is achieved through engagement with employers, industry and registered training organisations to identify current opportunities and connect them with participants who are registered in the program.

Rural Skills Connect provides opportunities to:

Assist affected workers by brokering new employment

  • Assist farmers to supplement farm business income with off-farm work
  • Undertake a skills and experience audit and work with the training sector to facilitate appropriate training opportunities which can lead to employment
  • Increase the accredited skills base across the industry
  • Assist farm businesses to become more resilient against economic or environmental stresses in the future. 

For further information or a confidential discussion, please contact Joanne Turner, Program Manager - Rural Skills Connect for the Murray Dairy Region via telephone 03 5722 7115 or 0472 863 050 or via joanne.turner@ecodev.vic.gov.au

Please check Council's "What's On" page for local, dairy specific events, as well as a range of other social, educational and tourism events happening in and around the Towong Shire - http://www.towong.vic.gov.au/visitors/whats-on/

Last updated: 02 July 2018