Feds asked to trigger Benalla drought funding
23 January 2020
Euroa MP and Shadow Minister for Water Steph Ryan has urged the Federal Government to include Benalla in drought support funding.
Ms Ryan wrote to Minister for Water Resources David Littleproud last week to ask him to include Benalla in the Drought Communities Programme, which would trigger an extra $1 million in funding for council to provide local infrastructure and drought-relief projects.
The program, which was extended to provide funding to 128 councils last in November 2019 is providing $128 million to regions experiencing hardship due to drought.
Ms Ryan said drought was becoming very difficult for many farmers, with zero water allocations in the Broken and no significant rain on the horizon.
“The Federal Government has really stepped up to the plate on drought support funding, but Benalla has not yet been included,” Ms Ryan said.
“Irrigators on the Broken River are facing another year of zero allocations and the Victorian Government recently enacted a qualification of rights to ensure there is sufficient water for stock and domestic.
“I am concerned that standpipes on the Broken haven’t yet been activated, despite a growing need.
“Additional funding would enable council to purchase temporary water in order to guarantee stock and domestic supplies to farmers across the region.”
Ms Ryan said the extra funding could also help ramp up the provision of wellbeing services.
“The best cure for people’s wellbeing is significant rain, but in the absence of that, it is important that landholders can access support through people like Ivan Lister, who provides rural outreach services,” Ms Ryan said.