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Assistance to dairy farmers on its way.



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HON WARREN TRUSS MP MINISTER FOR AGRICULTURE, FISHERIES AND FORESTRY

AFFA01/223WT 16 August 2001

Assistance to dairy farmers on its way

Australia’s dairy farmers will soon be receiving their share of the Federal Government’s extra assistance for the dairy industry, Federal Agriculture Minister, Warren Truss, said today.

The Minister has been advised that the Dairy Adjustment Authority (DAA) is well advanced issuing notices advising farmers of their market milk entitlements under the Government’s recently announced $159 million supplementary dairy package.

"As of Friday 10 August, around 95 per cent of notices had been sent to farmers potentially eligible to receive a market milk entitlement," Mr Truss said.

"That’s about 8,000 farmers, who can expect to soon receive advice in the mail advising them of their entitlements. This is important news for those farmers still struggling under the changes made by the States to the regulated market milk arrangements."

The supplementary assistance will provide $119 million to farmers with a previously high dependency on the State regulated market milk arrangements.

"In addition, the Government has made available $20 million for discretionary payments to address those difficult and unforseen circumstances that affected rights under the Commonwealth’s original $1.78 billion restructure package," Mr Truss said.

"Those people being considered for a discretionary payment can expect to be contacted shortly by the DAA.

"The Government has also provided a further $20 million for the very successful Dairy Regional Assistance Program (Dairy RAP), bringing the total commitment under this program to $65 million.

"Already 116 projects have been approved under Dairy Rap, which means $18.8 million has been committed to communities affected by the deregulation of the dairy industry.

"I have asked that the additional Dairy RAP funding be focussed on those dairy dependent regions and communities facing the greatest impact from dairy industry deregulation, as identified in a report released in January this year by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics.

"This very substantial assistance provided by the Commonwealth clearly demonstrates the Government’s commitment to addressing the concerns of these communities."

Further inquiries should be directed to the Dairy Adjustment Authority on 1800 503 603 or www.daa.gov.au

Minister's office: Yvonne Best (02) 6277 7520 or 0418 415 772

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Last updated 16 August 2001

URL: http://www.affa.gov.au/ministers/truss/releases/00/01223wt.html Commonwealth of Australia 2001