Support for bushfire-affected producers

24 January 2020

The recent bushfires have been devastating for all affected cattle, sheep and goat producers, especially on the back of the drought conditions many have been experiencing.

With the unprecedented scale and impact of the bushfires, impacting most states across the country, MLA has been actively looking at how best to assist affected producers.

MLA, together with our subsidiary Integrity Systems Company (ISC), took a number of actions in the immediate aftermath of the fires.

Actions taken include:

  • temporarily deferring non-essential Livestock Production Assurance (LPA) regulatory requirements and replacing this with communication activities which support producers to be mindful of key program requirements during fire recovery
  • providing immediate resources and information on MLA’s website
  • working in collaboration with industry bodies and state jurisdictions to send specialist staff and contractors into the field to assist in the recovery process
  • reassuring and educating customers and consumers – particularly in key export markets – about Australia’s ability to continue to supply quality red meat products.

MLA has now shifted to a longer-term operational response designed to assist affected producers as they rebuild. 

This response includes a range of activities, such as:

  • working with state departments and state farming organisations across Australia to support the delivery of information sessions on how to manage through the bushfire recovery process
  • a soon-to-be-launched program offering producers free access to farm management consultants that will provide one-on-one support;
    • this will focus on accessing available funding, completing cashflow budgets and supporting finance and business decisions
    • it will also help producers prioritise areas for rebuilding including fences, pastures, infrastructure, and, implement a management plan for livestock, nutrition and fodder requirements
    • providing one-on-one assistance will also allow us to help farmers and their families identify essential mental health support facilities if required
  • providing financial sponsorship of up to $2,500 for affected regions to host producer and community events post the fires
  • MLA has launched a bushfire recovery webpage that houses information and resources for producers focused on recovery following fire;
    • this includes areas such as managing livestock health, welfare, nutrition and transportation
    • it also includes information on subsidies available to livestock producers and support services to help them take care of themselves and their families.

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