Drought affected farmers need our grass

Solid rain in south-west Victoria over the past few weeks could benefit drought affected farmers in other parts of the state, according to Western District MP James Purcell.

Yesterday, Mr Purcell asked the Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford to consider making excess grass on road reserves in the region available to drought affected farmers.

"While there is drought in large parts of Victoria, south-west Victoria has had plenty of rain and within the next month will have grass growing over the fences," he said.

"Yesterday I was contacted by a Stock & Land agent from Mortlake who said he fields many calls every day from desperate farmers, some traveling more than 1000km to meet him in person on the off chance he could help them place cattle on agistment."

Mr Purcell said the south-west was in a unique position to help some of these producers by allowing access to drove cattle on the roads that are suitable with sufficient area, and watering points available.

The agent from Mortlake has had no success convincing local authorities to allow cattle to be droved on our roads and had come to Mr Purcell for help.

"How do I go about lifting some of the barriers such as environmental, bio-security, traffic issues to name a few and give our drought affected producers access to feed that may or will save their cattle in these desperate times," asked Mr Purcell.

Councils would be spraying, mowing and burning some of these areas to keep the growth back in coming months, which is a tragedy for drought stricken farmers who are butchering stock they can't feed.

ENDS