WESTERN VICTORIA MP Simon Ramsay says the Colac district is “suffering some of its driest conditions on record” and should receive drought assistance.
Mr Ramsay said the State Government should declare the Colac district a drought area so farmers were eligible for financial assistance.
“The Colac region is suffering some of its driest conditions on record but it’s not one of the drought-declared areas receiving financial assistance from the State Government,” Mr Ramsay said.
“I believe it should be seen as one of the drought declared areas so farmers and farming businesses can receive financial support, given how important food production is to the region,” he said.
Mr Ramsay said Colac community members had expressed concerns about dry conditions and a lack of pasture growth.
“This is probably one of the driest periods Colac and region has seen for a long time,” he said.
“We know farmers’ water storages are low or empty in the region, we know the Colac community is facing water restrictions, we know Lake Colac is dried up, and we know there’s any amount of statistical data to show the Colac region is suffering one of its worst drought-like conditions on record.
“Farmers are heavily handfeeding, carting water, and enduring significant financial costs and hardship.
“We expect the State Government to do more to support our food producers in the region.”
Mr Ramsay said he believed Colac Otway Shire Council should be active in requesting an assessment of badly affected areas.
“If council need some help I’m happy to lend my support to be assessed.
“I look to a collaboration between Colac Otway Shire and the State Government to prepare a case for drought assistance.”
“I’ve already called for more support for better access to main water supplies, bore systems, and tanks, but the government has totally ignored my requests, which shows how out of touch they are with regional communities.”