The Andrews Labor Government is putting the safety of regional farming communities at the forefront with more funding announced as part of the Farm Safety Rebate Scheme.
The $3 million scheme was extremely popular with Victorian farmers, with an overwhelming demand for applications. Minister for Agriculture Mary-Anne Thomas has today announced a further $2 million towards the initiative to meet all eligible applications that were received by the closing date.
The scheme provides rebates of up to $5,000 to improve safety on farm – with the existing funds committed in five weeks. More than 800 applications were received across 45 local government areas.
Examples of equipment and infrastructure that were eligible for the rebate include child safety fencing, animal handling equipment, dedicated chemical storage sheds and wash stations, emergency shut off switches and reversing cameras for tractors and vehicles.
The Labor Government is supporting farm businesses to take the lead in making practical changes to their workplaces by improving the sector’s focus on safety. This is part of our $20 million Smarter, Safer Farms commitment to improve safety and skills for Victorian farmers.
The Government is partnering with the Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) to provide farm safety advice and support for all Victorian farmers through the Making our Farms Safer project. The VFF has been granted $3 million to employ two farm safety officers and deliver new farm safety resources to Victoria’s farmers.
WorkSafe Victoria also provides agriculture safety information in addition to the OHS Essentials program, which is a free workplace safety consultation service, delivered by independent occupational health and safety experts.
In addition, Kidsafe is delivering a child safety on farms competition and social media campaign over three years through Victoria’s primary schools, which includes parent and class resources. There are a range of child safety resources including the Farm Safety Checklistand a Parent’s Guide to Kidsafe Farms.
The Labor Government is backing a stronger, more innovative and sustainable agriculture industry with a 10-year strategy to drive Victoria’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and bolster the economy.
As stated by Minister for Agriculture Mary-Anne Thomas
“We’re answering the call from our farmers by investing an extra $2 million in the Farm Safety Rebate Scheme to deliver safety on farms.”
“Safer farms mean safer farmers, families, employees, suppliers and contractors and this is vital to ensuring our agriculture sector continues to thrive.”