COMMUNITY ANGER FORCES LIBERALS TO SUPPORT FARMER HEALTH
The Abbott and Napthine Governments have been dragged kicking and screaming to support the National Centre for Farmer Health.
The award winning centre was set to close. A once-off, eleventh hour reprieve will enable the Centre to stay open for one more year.
The funds offered by the Liberals fall well short of the $1 million needed to continue the Centre’s award winning programs. Victorian farmers have no certainty about what services they can now access.
Denis Napthine must join with Labor to stand up to Tony Abbott and pledge real support to Victorian farmer health – a last-minute, temporary reprieve for political purposes isn’t enough.
Quotes attributable to Ms Pulford:
“The Liberals and Nationals shouldn’t need months of community outrage to save an important rural health service.”
“This is only a last-minute, temporary reprieve for the election – Victorian farmers deserve more certainty and this Centre deserves to be protected.”
“The Liberals and the Nationals can’t fight for regional Victoria if they’re too busy fighting each other.”
- The National Centre for Farmer Health was set up by the previous Labor Government in 2008 with a $2.4 million grant, alongside $1 million from
the Helen and Geoff Handbury Trust.
- The Centre provides agricultural health services and training directly to farmers and rural health and agricultural professionals.
- The Centre houses the award winning Sustainable Farm Families program.
- In 2012, the Liberal National Government refused to provide ongoing funding for the National Centre. Since then it has survived on various university and philanthropic grants.
- This year’s state budget confirmed there would be no money to save the National Centre.
The Regional and Rural Victoria Budget Paper (p4) highlights that the Napthine Government will be spending just $1.2 billion on regional infrastructure out of a purported $27 billion – just 4 per cent.
- On 7 May 2014, the Liberals and Nationals in the Victorian Parliament voted against a Victorian Labor motion to save the Centre.
- Today, the Federal and State Government announced one-off grants of $375,000 and $250,000 respectively, to keep the Centre open for another year.