Premier snubs drought affected Gippsland
The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien is frustrated that Premier Daniel Andrews has failed to make time to see the impact of deepening drought in the region, despite being in Gippsland on Friday.
Speaking in State Parliament earlier in the week, Mr O’Brien formally called on the Premier to visit Central and East Gippsland where official government figures show rainfall for the last two years is the lowest on record.
“There’s been a lot of focus recently on the drought in New South Wales and Queensland, but the reality is that when you look at the Bureau of Meteorology rainfall maps, Central and East Gippsland is as bad as anywhere else in the country,” Mr O’Brien said.
“Fortunately this has not yet manifested in massive income deficits for our local farmers, but many have been feeding stock now for many months and the strain is beginning to tell.
“The Premier was in the region today but once again couldn’t find his way past the Latrobe Valley.
“If we don’t get good rains in the next few months, and the forecast is not good, then we’ll be facing significant issues and the Premier and his government need to be ready to assist on top of the government support already on offer from our Commonwealth counterparts.
“Our farmers are innovative and resilient, but they can only do so much.
Mr O’Brien’s request followed from that of his colleague, The Nationals Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, who has made a similar request of the Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford.
Mr O’Brien said he was inspired by the many local businesses who are doing so much already to help local farmers.
Portside Food and Wine in Sale is donating one dollar from every cup of coffee purchased towards a social event to help local farmers get away from the drought and socialise together with their children and families.
‘Drink for the Drought - A Farmers Day Out’ will be held at Portside Food and Wine on Saturday, 22 December 2018 with all food and beverages provided. Children’s movies will also be screened at the ‘Wedge’ on the night.
Mr O’Brien also congratulated Leongatha baker, Darren McInnes who’s Thornton’s Bakery is donating 10 cents from the sale of every pie, pastie and sausage roll to drought charities.
Local business owner, Molly Work with The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien and Stradbroke farmer Michelle Gerrand.
Thornton’s Bakery owner, Darren McInnes with The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Danny O’Brien.