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Bushfire recovery support continues amid COVID-19 restrictions

22 April 2020

Red meat producers throughout Australia impacted by recent bushfires can still access vital support to help with their recovery and rebuild amid COVID-19 restrictions, with a range of support programs now being delivered through online platforms.

Meat & Livestock Australia’s (MLA) ‘Back to Business’ program, which allows producers in fire-affected regions to access up to three free one-on-one-sessions with a local farm business consultant, continues to be successfully delivered online.

The program has already been taken up by 74 individual farm businesses throughout New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia, and Tasmania.

A series of free weekly webinars is also being held for livestock producers, offering practical tips to help rebuild on the back of not only recent bushfires, but also drought, floods and storms.

Hosted by MLA, Australian Wool Innovation (AWI), Sheep Connect NSW, and Integrity Systems Company (ISC), the hour-long webinars are being held every Tuesday at 1pm through to 9 June, offering resources and support to help those impacted by recent challenging events get ‘Back to Business’.

MLA Managing Director Jason Strong said to date, more than 500 producers had participated in the weekly webinars, which were originally scheduled as face-to-face workshops throughout bushfire and drought impacted regions.

“In response to COVID-19 containment efforts, we are being agile in the delivery of support programs for producers, working in collaboration with AWI, Sheep Connect NSW and ISC to deliver the webinars, and with the State Coordinators to deliver the one-on-one support sessions,” Mr Strong said.

“We’re pleased these programs are being well received by producers while the industry continues to support global containment efforts of COVID-19.

“It’s important to remember that many producers impacted by bushfires are still in the recovery and rebuild phase. The ‘Back to Business’ one-on-one support sessions give producers clarity and direction by prioritising actions, which is vital during the ongoing recovery phase, while the webinars enable producers to access expert speakers, tools and advice.”

To complement the webinars, a podcast has also been launched featuring webinar presenters and technical experts. Simply search Back to Business in your podcast app to download the podcast.

Producers can also catch watch the recordings of past ‘Back to Business’ webinars on the Sheep Connect NSW website. Both the podcast and webinar recordings are another tool for producers to access at a time that suits them.

Sheep Connect NSW was a recipient of MLA Bushfire Recovery Sponsorship Funds to produce a series of webinars and MLA and ISC have partnered with them to take the ‘Back to Business’ workshops online.

For more information on MLA’s one-on-one Back to Business program, email backtobusiness@mla.com.au and a representative from MLA will get back to you with further details.