The National Centre for Farmer Health (NCFH) has been ignored yet again by a Liberal-Nationals government, this time at a federal level. Two weeks ago the Prime Minister announced a $320 million farmer assistance package which includes a mental health component. However, in what is becoming a general practice for Liberal-Nationals governments in Australia, the National Centre for Farmer Health in Hamilton was categorically ignored once again.
The centre will not see 1 red cent of the money to continue its international award-winning Sustainable Farming Families program, which deals directly with mental health issues for farmers.
For more than two years the Minister for Health, the Honourable David Davis, and this state government have been ignoring the centre, and the community is absolutely seething. An editorial in the Hamilton Spectator recently painted a very clear picture of what the community thinks of the Napthine government’s record on the centre for farmer health. It states:
- The state government’s decision to offer mere token — some would say disingenuous — financial support to saving the National Centre for Farmer Health … is as appalling as it is plain dumb.
- That a health minister, David Davis, would rather commit more money on a misleading and unnecessary advertising campaign in this state’s media calling for paramedics to sign up to a government pay deal than he would on the NCFH is an insult to farmers from the Western District and beyond.
Western Victoria deserves better, and certainly farmers do.