News

Farmers recieve 100GL lifeline to boost fodder stocks

By Rodney Woods

Farmers are set to get some relief from dry conditions and high input costs with the Federal Government announcing 100GL of water will be released to grow feed.

The water is expected to grow up to 120 000 tonnes of fodder and is part of a new drought stimulus package announced yesterday.

Member for Nicholls Damian Drum said he would be working with his Nationals colleague Water and Drought Minister David Littleproud to make sure the water ends up with those who need it most.

“Plans are there but we have got a lot of work to do,” he said.

“We have to ensure that investors don't get their hands on this.

“If you purchase any of this water you'll be expected to use it to grow a crop with it.

“You won't be able to trade it, you won't be able to carry it over.

“There will be restrictions around this water that aren’t necessarily a part of regular water trading.”

State Member for Shepparton Suzanna Sheed said the release of water would be "welcomed".

“My view is that it will be very welcomed by farmers, who couldn’t afford any water and will provide them with an opportunity for an early watering of their fodder,” she said.

“We’ve been calling for environmental water to be released in these circumstances to no avail but this is a step in the right direction.”

Ms Sheed agreed the water needed to be kept for farmers.

“It is essential that this water be targeted to farmers who can use it,” she said.

“One point Minister Littleproud made was that it can't be on-traded.

“The removal of any speculation is so important given what's now an extreme shortage of fodder on the eastern seaboard."

More about the region's drought

Shepparton’s drought woes shared with PM

Moira Shire now eligible for $1 million drought funding