Get the Money to Farmers not Consultants
Member for Western Victoria Region, Bev McArthur used a constituency question in Parliament this week to ask the Minister for Agriculture for action to ensure that agriculture businesses were the due beneficiaries of the Agriculture Energy Investment Plan and not consultancy firms.
The $30 million Agriculture Energy Investment Plan was introduced more than a year ago. So far it has allocated $2.6 million to six consultancy firms, while only $635,000 to 19 farmers. To compound the problem, the first grants for farmers were only announced a week ago.
Bev McArthur said that “The process for farmers to apply and obtain a grant from this scheme is extremely onerous and bureaucratic. Obviously grants have to be properly assessed, but this funding allocation is appalling.”
“The reality is that a large proportion of farmers are flat out keeping their families and stock housed and fed and, unlike deskbound consultants, have limited time to expedite copious forms,” she concluded.
31 May 2019