Hit by one of the worst droughts in 150 years, southern Australian farmers in Victoria are benefiting from a new relief package rolled out this week by the state government. The $115 million package (82.6 million USD) includes relief in the form of water-rate discounts, infrastructure development and unemployment programs.
The farm package is one of many offered by the state over the last few years, bringing the total farm relief to $400 million (287.6 million USD) since 2006. Among some of the more unique water-saving strategies, the package includes $3.8 million (2.7 million USD) to help covert community sports facilities to artificial turf.
With crops failing throughout the state, Victorian Farmers Federation president Simon Ramsay emphasized the importance of the bill. “This isn’t a hand-out by any means. This is about allowing us to produce food for both this country and internationally as well,” he told The Age.
Source : The Age
Circle of Blue’s east coast correspondent based in New York. He specializes on water conflict and the water-food-energy nexus. He previously worked as a political risk analyst covering equatorial Africa’s energy sector, and sustainable development in sub-Saharan Africa. Contact: Cody.Pope@circleofblue.org