Media Centre

Better Weather Data To Give Farmers More Certainty

Farmers across the Wimmera and Southern Mallee can now make vital management decisions with more confidence, as the new Rainbow weather radar begins to transmit real-time data across the region. The new Doppler radar fills a gap in the radar network, giving farmers more accurate data so they can make more informed, time-critical decisions about harvesting, crop planting and the use of chemicals and fertilisers. The radar will also provide better short-term rainfall forecasts and additional information for emergency services and Bureau of Meteorology experts during severe weather events. The $9.3 million Rainbow Radar project is a partnership between the local community, Wimmera Development Association (WDA), the Andrews Labor Government and the Bureau of Meteorology. The Government provided $5 million for the construction of the Rainbow radar and the Bureau of Meteorology have committed $4.3 million for its maintenance and operating costs for the next 15 years. The dual-polarised radar’s construction was in response to a WDA business case, which highlighted the significant cost savings and productivity benefits the radar would bring to the Wimmera and Southern Mallee. Data from the Rainbow Radar is now available at bom.gov.au/australia/radar. For more information about the radar, visit agriculture.vic.gov.au/rainbowradar. Quotes attributable to Victorian Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes “The Rainbow radar will make a real difference to farmers across the Wimmera and Southern Mallee regions, as well as emergency services – who’d previously had to rely on data from radars in Mount Gambier and Mildura.” “Accurate weather information is critical to making good faming decisions. We’re proud to partner with the Bureau of Meteorology and the local community, who passionately advocated for this project.” Quotes attributable to Federal Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley “The new radar underlines the Federal Government’s strong commitment to strengthening the Bureau of Meteorology's national observations network and will benefit farmers in Victoria and into southern NSW, including I note, a key corner of Farrer.” "We know just how vital radar and weather information is when farmers, emergency services and the broader community need to make critical decisions and that is why we’re making significant budget commitments focused on supporting regional Australia and the Bureau of Meteorology's national observations network.”

Better Weather Data To Give Farmers More Certainty

Farmers across the Wimmera and Southern Mallee can now make vital management decisions with more confidence, as the new Rainbow weather radar begins to transmit real-time data across the region. The new Doppler radar fills a gap in the radar network, giving farmers more accurate data so they can make more informed, time-critical decisions about harvesting, crop planting and the use of chemicals and fertilisers. The radar will also provide better short-term rainfall forecasts and additional information for emergency services and Bureau of Meteorology experts during severe weather events. The $9.3 million Rainbow Radar project is a partnership between the local community, Wimmera Development Association (WDA), the Andrews Labor Government and the Bureau of Meteorology. The Government provided $5 million for the construction of the Rainbow radar and the Bureau of Meteorology have committed $4.3 million for its maintenance and operating costs for the next 15 years. The dual-polarised radar’s construction was in response to a WDA business case, which highlighted the significant cost savings and productivity benefits the radar would bring to the Wimmera and Southern Mallee. Data from the Rainbow Radar is now available at bom.gov.au/australia/radar. For more information about the radar, visit agriculture.vic.gov.au/rainbowradar. Quotes attributable to Victorian Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes “The Rainbow radar will make a real difference to farmers across the Wimmera and Southern Mallee regions, as well as emergency services – who’d previously had to rely on data from radars in Mount Gambier and Mildura.” “Accurate weather information is critical to making good faming decisions. We’re proud to partner with the Bureau of Meteorology and the local community, who passionately advocated for this project.” Quotes attributable to Federal Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley “The new radar underlines the Federal Government’s strong commitment to strengthening the Bureau of Meteorology's national observations network and will benefit farmers in Victoria and into southern NSW, including I note, a key corner of Farrer.” "We know just how vital radar and weather information is when farmers, emergency services and the broader community need to make critical decisions and that is why we’re making significant budget commitments focused on supporting regional Australia and the Bureau of Meteorology's national observations network.”

Backing The Science, Protecting Farmers And Boosting Jobs

The Andrews Labor Government is backing the science to create jobs and bolster energy supply with new legislation to lift the moratorium on onshore gas exploration and production, and ban fracking for good. The Labor Government will introduce two Bills today. The first will enshrine the historic ban on fracking and coal seam gas exploration in the Victorian Constitution. Fracking was banned in 2017 and at the 2018 election, Labor promised to put that ban in the Constitution – to make it harder for future Liberal and National governments to put our food and fibre sector at risk. The second piece of legislation will allow for an orderly restart of onshore conventional gas exploration and development from 1 July 2021. The decision follows three years of detailed investigation by the Victorian Gas Program, which found an onshore conventional gas industry would not compromise the state’s environmental and agricultural credentials. The investigation was overseen by Victoria’s Lead Scientist, Dr Amanda Caples, who chaired an independent Stakeholder Advisory Panel including farmers, environmentalists, industry representatives and local councils. These studies have identified potentially significant onshore conventional gas resources particularly in the Otway Basin, which stretches across the border to South Australia where a productive industry has been established. Production of Victoria’s estimated resources could generate more than $310 million annually for regional economies and create 6,400 jobs over the lifespan of these projects. The sensible, science-based approach will also bolster Victoria’s energy security, with any gas produced from future onshore production licences to be prioritised for the domestic market – supporting local industry and consumers. The Government will now work with industry and communities to develop rigorous engagement and transparency obligations, and improve the regulatory framework – to guarantee a world’s best practice approach. Landholders will also be supported to better negotiate access rights and compensation with exploration companies. The moratorium on onshore conventional gas exploration and development was set to expire on 30 June this year. A new wave of offshore gas exploration is expected to start this year off the south-west coast – where gas has flowed from for decades. Companies will soon be awarded the rights over blocks in waters next to existing sites. Gas will continue to play an important role in supporting Victoria’s transition to a cleaner energy future, in line with the Government’s commitment to net zero emissions by 2050. For a copy of the Victorian Gas Program Progress Report No.4, go to earthresources.vic.gov.au/gasprogram. Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews “We’re backing the science to create jobs, boost energy supply and support regional communities across the state.” “We promised to enshrine our historic ban on fracking in the constitution and we’re delivering – to protect farming communities, and our huge food and fibre sector.” Quote attributable to Minister for Resources Jaclyn Symes “Three years of research shows securing local gas supply for Victorians will not come at the cost of the state’s groundwater supplies, agricultural industries or our farming’s clean and green reputation.”

Backing The Science, Protecting Farmers And Boosting Jobs

The Andrews Labor Government is backing the science to create jobs and bolster energy supply with new legislation to lift the moratorium on onshore gas exploration and production, and ban fracking for good. The Labor Government will introduce two Bills today. The first will enshrine the historic ban on fracking and coal seam gas exploration in the Victorian Constitution. Fracking was banned in 2017 and at the 2018 election, Labor promised to put that ban in the Constitution – to make it harder for future Liberal and National governments to put our food and fibre sector at risk. The second piece of legislation will allow for an orderly restart of onshore conventional gas exploration and development from 1 July 2021. The decision follows three years of detailed investigation by the Victorian Gas Program, which found an onshore conventional gas industry would not compromise the state’s environmental and agricultural credentials. The investigation was overseen by Victoria’s Lead Scientist, Dr Amanda Caples, who chaired an independent Stakeholder Advisory Panel including farmers, environmentalists, industry representatives and local councils. These studies have identified potentially significant onshore conventional gas resources particularly in the Otway Basin, which stretches across the border to South Australia where a productive industry has been established. Production of Victoria’s estimated resources could generate more than $310 million annually for regional economies and create 6,400 jobs over the lifespan of these projects. The sensible, science-based approach will also bolster Victoria’s energy security, with any gas produced from future onshore production licences to be prioritised for the domestic market – supporting local industry and consumers. The Government will now work with industry and communities to develop rigorous engagement and transparency obligations, and improve the regulatory framework – to guarantee a world’s best practice approach. Landholders will also be supported to better negotiate access rights and compensation with exploration companies. The moratorium on onshore conventional gas exploration and development was set to expire on 30 June this year. A new wave of offshore gas exploration is expected to start this year off the south-west coast – where gas has flowed from for decades. Companies will soon be awarded the rights over blocks in waters next to existing sites. Gas will continue to play an important role in supporting Victoria’s transition to a cleaner energy future, in line with the Government’s commitment to net zero emissions by 2050. For a copy of the Victorian Gas Program Progress Report No.4, go to earthresources.vic.gov.au/gasprogram. Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews “We’re backing the science to create jobs, boost energy supply and support regional communities across the state.” “We promised to enshrine our historic ban on fracking in the constitution and we’re delivering – to protect farming communities, and our huge food and fibre sector.” Quote attributable to Minister for Resources Jaclyn Symes “Three years of research shows securing local gas supply for Victorians will not come at the cost of the state’s groundwater supplies, agricultural industries or our farming’s clean and green reputation.”

Knowledge Is Power For Drought-Affected Farmers

Victorian farming communities impacted by drought and dry seasonal conditions will have more access to the information and expertise they need, thanks to funding from the Andrews Labor Government. The $650,000 Farming and Community Group Drought Funding program, which is now open, provides grants of up to $25,000 for groups to engage technical experts or specialists to deliver training to farmers that is designed to help them prepare for, respond to and manage drought and dry seasonal conditions. The program is open to community groups including Landcare and land management groups, industry groups, farming systems groups, farming discussion groups and other not-for-profit organisations. Groups in the Millewa, East Gippsland and the Goulburn Murray Irrigation District are particularly encouraged to apply. A similar program which ran last year was extremely successful, delivering 30 activities, engaging more than 900 farmers and 200 service providers. Farmers across the Goulburn Murray Irrigation District were among those who benefited from last year’s program with Murray Dairy using the funding to support dairy businesses to tailor their business plans. Applications for the 2020 Farming and Community Group Drought Funding open today and close on 23 March. Projects must be delivered between April and June 2020. The program is part of the $81 million funding package that the Labor Government has committed to support the state’s worst-hit farming businesses and families to recover from the impacts of drought. For more information about the program and other assistance available to help farmers call 136186 or visit  agriculture.vic.gov.au/dryseasons. Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes “We’ve worked with farmers to develop a program for them to gain access to the information and expertise that they need to manage and prepare for drought and dry seasonal conditions.” “This is about increasing knowledge and capability by encouraging local groups to team with a technical expert to deliver workshops or run events tailored to local needs.”  Quote attributable to Murray Dairy chief executive Jenny Wilson “Last year’s community groups funding program was important to help set our dairy farmers up for managing what are very challenging times for our industry in northern Victoria.”

Knowledge Is Power For Drought-Affected Farmers

Victorian farming communities impacted by drought and dry seasonal conditions will have more access to the information and expertise they need, thanks to funding from the Andrews Labor Government. The $650,000 Farming and Community Group Drought Funding program, which is now open, provides grants of up to $25,000 for groups to engage technical experts or specialists to deliver training to farmers that is designed to help them prepare for, respond to and manage drought and dry seasonal conditions. The program is open to community groups including Landcare and land management groups, industry groups, farming systems groups, farming discussion groups and other not-for-profit organisations. Groups in the Millewa, East Gippsland and the Goulburn Murray Irrigation District are particularly encouraged to apply. A similar program which ran last year was extremely successful, delivering 30 activities, engaging more than 900 farmers and 200 service providers. Farmers across the Goulburn Murray Irrigation District were among those who benefited from last year’s program with Murray Dairy using the funding to support dairy businesses to tailor their business plans. Applications for the 2020 Farming and Community Group Drought Funding open today and close on 23 March. Projects must be delivered between April and June 2020. The program is part of the $81 million funding package that the Labor Government has committed to support the state’s worst-hit farming businesses and families to recover from the impacts of drought. For more information about the program and other assistance available to help farmers call 136186 or visit  agriculture.vic.gov.au/dryseasons. Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes “We’ve worked with farmers to develop a program for them to gain access to the information and expertise that they need to manage and prepare for drought and dry seasonal conditions.” “This is about increasing knowledge and capability by encouraging local groups to team with a technical expert to deliver workshops or run events tailored to local needs.”  Quote attributable to Murray Dairy chief executive Jenny Wilson “Last year’s community groups funding program was important to help set our dairy farmers up for managing what are very challenging times for our industry in northern Victoria.”

Road-Train Network Extended For Drought Relief

The Andrews Labor Government is making it easier and safer to deliver grain and hay to drought-affected communities across Australia. Minister for Roads, Road Safety and the TAC Jaala Pulford announced the temporary extension of Victoria’s road-train network to include a southbound route between Charlton and Koondrook in Victoria’s north. Unladen road-trains will now be able to make the southbound journey via Barham and Koondrook to Charlton instead of using the Calder Highway, making it a more efficient return trip for farmers and transport operators. The faster and more direct southbound route will cut three hours or 220 kilometres off the trip – reducing fuel costs and giving truck drivers a quicker journey home. The road-train network covers the North-West of Victoria and is a vital part of our rural economy, making it easier for farmers to move livestock and feed between states. The extension to the network will be in place until the drought breaks. For more information and to view Victoria’s full road-train network visit www.vicroads.vic.gov.au. Quotes Attributable to Minister for Roads, Road Safety and the TAC Jaala Pulford “We’ve listened to what farmers had to say and are acting swiftly to make it easier to deliver grain and hay to drought affected areas that need it most.” “This is a big win for farmers and communities affected by the drought – the more direct route will cut travel times, reduce costs and ensure truck drivers make it home safely.” Quote attributable to Minister for Ports and Freight Melissa Horne “We’re making it easier for rural industry across Australia to get their livestock and fodder where they need to go – supporting our farmers and our economy.” Quote attributable to Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes “We’re backing our farmers doing it tough in this extended drought, making sure they have access to the fodder they need to keep their animals healthy and businesses thriving.”

Road-Train Network Extended For Drought Relief

The Andrews Labor Government is making it easier and safer to deliver grain and hay to drought-affected communities across Australia. Minister for Roads, Road Safety and the TAC Jaala Pulford announced the temporary extension of Victoria’s road-train network to include a southbound route between Charlton and Koondrook in Victoria’s north. Unladen road-trains will now be able to make the southbound journey via Barham and Koondrook to Charlton instead of using the Calder Highway, making it a more efficient return trip for farmers and transport operators. The faster and more direct southbound route will cut three hours or 220 kilometres off the trip – reducing fuel costs and giving truck drivers a quicker journey home. The road-train network covers the North-West of Victoria and is a vital part of our rural economy, making it easier for farmers to move livestock and feed between states. The extension to the network will be in place until the drought breaks. For more information and to view Victoria’s full road-train network visit www.vicroads.vic.gov.au. Quotes Attributable to Minister for Roads, Road Safety and the TAC Jaala Pulford “We’ve listened to what farmers had to say and are acting swiftly to make it easier to deliver grain and hay to drought affected areas that need it most.” “This is a big win for farmers and communities affected by the drought – the more direct route will cut travel times, reduce costs and ensure truck drivers make it home safely.” Quote attributable to Minister for Ports and Freight Melissa Horne “We’re making it easier for rural industry across Australia to get their livestock and fodder where they need to go – supporting our farmers and our economy.” Quote attributable to Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes “We’re backing our farmers doing it tough in this extended drought, making sure they have access to the fodder they need to keep their animals healthy and businesses thriving.”

Policies

Policy Documents

Victorian Labor Party Policy