Drought Response : Murray Dairy

Drought Response


Due to the difficult conditions dairy farmers have faced over the past few seasons, Murray Dairy appointed a regional Drought Response Coordinator, John Boyd.

Drought ResponseAs part of the ‘Drought’ project, John supported the region by:

  • Identifying and addressing gaps in technical information for the region;
  • Providing support and assistance in delivering up to date information to service providers and farmers;
  • Providing industry consultation and feedback
  • Managing $500 grants for drought related activities.

In January 2008 Murray Dairy extended its drought response by establishing two ‘supporting dairy farming family coordinators’ for 6 months. The role of these coordinators was to:

  • Maintain, establish and support a network of individuals or groups across the region to promote health and welfare support services;
  • Provide feedback to the Health and Welfare service sector.
  • Provide feedback to the Regional Extension Committee and UDV District Councils

Service Provider and Counsellor Contacts

Listed below are contact details for people and services who may be of use in the adverse conditions currently experienced in the Northern Victoria and Southern Riverina dairy industry.

Click on the link below to download a copy of the relevant contact details:

Social Worker Phone Numbers

Regional Agencies and Department of Primary Industries

If you can not download the list and would like a copy sent to you, please contact Murray Dairy on 03 5833 5312.


Drought response

Accessing Drought Support:

EC Interest Rate Subsidy (ECIRS)

The EC Interest Rate Subsidy is administered by Rural Finance on behalf of the Federal Government. Subsidies of up to 50 per cent are available in the first year of an EC declaration with subsidies of up to 80 per cent in the second and subsequent years.

If further assistance is required please phone your local Rural Finance officer or visit the
Rural Finance website.


Exceptional Circumstances Relief Payments

The Exceptional Circumstances Relief Payment (ECRP) is delivered by Centrelink on behalf of the Federal Government.

When receiving the ECRP, recipients are also issued with a health care card.
ECRP is available for eligible farmers in EC declared areas at a rate equivalent to the Newstart Allowance.

There are income tests that need to be completed to receive ECRP.

For further information visit Centrelink’s website


Professional Advice and Planning Grant

The Professional Advice and Planning Grant provide eligible farmers access to up to $5500 worth of professional advice and planning assistance.

The grant is administered by Centrelink on behalf of the Federal Government and is designed to enable farmers to develop a business plan, drought management plan or drought recovery plan.

For an application form or further information on the Professional Advice and Planning Grant contact Centrelink.


Murray Darling Basin Irrigation Management Grant:

This grant provides $20,000 to farmers located in the Murray Darling Basin to implement water management strategies and works.

The grant is administered by Centrelink on behalf of the Federal Government.
Grants will be payable for activates undertaken between 1 July 2007 and 30 June 2009 and will be paid directly to irrigators.

For further information visit Centrelink’s website.


Exceptional Circumstances Exit Package

The Exceptional Circumstances (EC) Exit Package is available to eligible farmers who have decided to leave the land.

The EC Exit Package includes an:

  • EC Exit Grant of up to $150 000. Net assets limit of $575 000 after selling all farm assets before 30th June 2009
  • EC Advice and Re-training Grant of $10 000
  • EC Relocation Grant of $10 000.

Centrelink administer the grant on behalf of the Federal Government.

For further information visit Centrelink’s website


50% Shire Rate Subsidy (Victoria only)

The Victorian Government is providing a 50% shire rate subsidy to farmers receiving Exceptional Circumstance Relief Payments from Centrelink.

For further information visit DPI’s website


Rebate for Fixed Water Charges (Victoria only)

The Victorian Government is providing a rebate of up to $1000 on fixed water charges for rural water users receiving less than 30% allocation of their normal entitlement as at 1 December 2008. Water charges above $1000 will receive a 50% rebate on the remaining balance.

For further information visit DPI’s website.


On-Farm Productivity Grant (Victoria only)

The Victorian Government is providing $3000 on farm productivity grants for farmer to implement on-farm infrastructure improvements. Grants will fund half the total cost of works up to $3000.

For further information visit DPI’s website:


Drought Apprenticeship Retention Bonus (DARB) (Victoria only)

The Victorian Government is $1500 to farmers who employ apprentices and trainees. The grant will be paid in two parts, $750 for the six months to 31 December 2008 and $750 for six months to 30th June 2009.

For further information visit DPI’s website:


Drought Transport Subsidies (NSW only)

This subsidy covers 50% transport costs for fodder, livestock and stock and domestic water. The property must have a Property Identification Code and livestock be in a drought declared area.

For further information contact:

Hume 02 6040 4210
Murray 03 5886 1203
Narrandera 02 6959 2322
Wagga Wagga 02 6921 3034

Visit DPI NSW’s website for further information


DoCS Drought Relief Payment (NSW Only)

This Relief payment is up to $2000 for farms and non-farm households not in an EC declared area and not in receipt of Centrelink income support. This payment is for households with insufficient income or cash reserves to meet basic living needs.

For further information contact NSW’s Department of Community Services on 1800 018 444 or visit their website.


Support Contacts

Free Centrelink Drought Counsellors:

13 23 16

Lifeline (24 hour)

131 114

Crisis Line 

13 61 69

Loss and Grief Line

1800 100 023


132 289

Kids Helpline

1800 551 800

Mensline Australia

1300 789 978

Suicide Helpline

1300 651 251

Beyondblue info line

1300 224 636

Relationships Australia

03 5821 1846/ 1800 817 569
1300 364 277

Women's Info & Referral Service
Women’s info Link

1300 134 130
1800 177 577

Youth Beyondblue 300 224 636
St Vinnies 1
Anglicare 131812
Salvation Army 13 26 22
Kids Help Line 1300 36 36 22
Farmsafe Australia Inc 1800 55 1800
Counselling Online 02 6752 8218
The Bush Connection (07)4638 0135
Professional Counselling 136150
Centrelink (info on all govt. benefits) 132316
Centrelink Drought Assistance Line  
Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry 136186

Clinical Research Unit for Anxiety and Depression


Interest Rate Subsidies

03 5448 2600

Rural Financial Counsellors

1800 686 175

North Central Rural Financial Counselling Service

03 5450 3285 Kerang


03 5434 6346 Bendigo

GMH Agcare Rural Financial Counsellors

03 5851 3421 Kyabram

Aussies Helpers

1300 665 232

Drought personal Support Line

1300 655 969



Don't go Hungry!

Cobram & District Foodbank

5871 1799

Yarrawonga & District Service Foodbank

5743 5800