New drought relief gives farmers confidence

19 March 2024

Tasmania's peak body for farmers says the government's emergency drought relief announcement is an uplift for both farmers' confidence and the morale of the broader agricultural sector.

President of TasFarmers Ian Sauer TasFarmers expressed gratitude for the decision by the government to extend hardship grants originally announced for King and Flinders islands to encompass entire the state.

Mr Sauer said, "It's a pivotal moment where our united voice is being heard and acknowledged. They have not only consulted with TasFarmers, but most importantly of all, they are listening to our farmers who are feeling it.

"They have reacted quickly with this announcement to make the grants scheme more widely available, and they have recognised the social side of the issue.

"We've been saying farmers are hurting and they understand. People really are stressed out to the max in the drought-affected areas.

"Farmers can be confident their concerns are being acted on. This announcement comes at a time when people are feeling terrible, so it's a confidence booster.

"We're also working to identify the regions that need the most support and are significantly impacted, so we can put forward the best options to the government for their consideration.

"TasFarmers has now redeployed a person in the office to be the first point of contact for members on the drought.

"TasFarmers has been contacting members for the last two days to discuss their needs.

"With feedback from our members, we will be reengaging with the government and the department next week.

"We will be working closely with the Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania and the Tas Farm Innovation hub.

"We will also be referring people to the Drought Hub for additional information and Rural Business Tasmania as the experts in financial guidance," he said.