Agriculture Gippsland South

O’Brien goes in to bat for drought hit farmers

The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Danny O’Brien is calling on the Melbourne Labor Government to consider the plight of farmers in South Gippsland struggling with unseasonably dry conditions.

Mr O’Brien this week visited Yanakie and spoke with local dairy farmers who have been forced to install pumps and several kilometres of poly pipe to deliver stock and domestic water to their farms.

“The situation in Yanakie and around other parts of the coastline in South Gippsland is becoming quite dire, although from a pasture and fodder perspective many farmers have been able to get a reasonable yield. In places like Yanakie there has been just not enough runoff water to fill dams,” Mr O’Brien said.

“I take my hat off to the Yanakie community, and in particular the Progress Association, which has been proactive in supporting its own community by developing an informal water grid. Without it, many farms would have run out of water for their stock months ago.

“It’s a credit to president Alex Moon and the wider community for the work they have put in. However local community resources are now being stretched and I have written to the Minister for Agriculture seeking advice on any assistance that may be available to pay for this water infrastructure or to help drought-proof their properties for the future.”

Mr O’Brien said the State Government had recently announced some drought relief support for the western part of the state which included extensions to stock and domestic water pipelines.

“For Yanakie and surrounds we are probably not talking about significant amounts of money, so I am hopeful the State Government will see fit to provide support,” Mr O’Brien said.

“This community is very resilient but it is looking for help given the dry year so far and the likelihood that the coming summer will only make things worse.”

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Earlier this week I caught up with President of the Yanakie Progress Association Alex Moon and Allan Macqueen to discuss unseasonably dry conditions the coastline towns are experiencing.

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