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Social impacts of drought: Public Forum Birchip August 5 - Mildura August 26

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Media Contact Cath O’Connor (03) 5032 4510 -ends-

Tuesday, 29 July 2008


John Forrest, The Nationals Federal Member for Mallee, is encouraging farming families, other community members and social support service providers to attend a Public Forum on the social impacts of the drought, to be held in Birchip on Tuesday, August 5 and Mildura on Tuesday, August 26.

Mr Forrest said an independent panel had been appointed to review the social impacts of the drought on families and communities.

He said the panel is being led by AgForce President, Mr Peter Kenny, and panel members were keen to hear the views of Mallee community residents on what the impacts of the prolonged drought have been, and also what types of social support people value in times of drought.

The panel is due to report back to Tony Burke, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry in September.

“Twenty-five Australian towns have been chosen to host the forums,” Mr Forrest said. “In Mallee, Birchip and Mildura have been chosen, that’s why it is so important for people to make the effort to attend and have their say.”

“If you want to attend but can’t, you also have the opportunity of making a written submission. These will be accepted until Friday August 8.” Mr Forrest said

The panel has released an issues paper to help people with the submission process. It can be downloaded from the National Review of Drought Policy’s website, or contact John Forrest’s office - 5032 4510 Swan Hill or 5021 5987 Mildura, for a copy to be sent out.

Birchip forum will be held from 10am-1pm at the Birchip Community Leisure Centre, Cnr Morrison and Johnston Streets.

Mildura forum will be held from 9am-noon at the Mildura Settlers Club, 110-114 Murray Street.

John Forrest MP The Nationals Member for Mallee

Phone (03) 5032 4510 Fax (03) 5032 9407