The Hamilton community, along with many other farming communities in regional Victoria, is absolutely disgusted with the Liberal-Nationals coalition government’s decision to cease funding for the National Centre for Farmer Health. The centre, which opened in 2008, was built to address the significant issues associated with farmer health and wellbeing and the safety of our farming families.
The centre currently has a service delivery arm, a research arm and a teaching arm that enable it to provide important research, training and support to our farmers. This support will cease to exist if the Baillieu government does not continue to fund this vital service. Each and every stakeholder has expressed their deep concern and shock at the government’s decision.
For this government to claim it represents the best interests of rural and regional Victorians whilst cutting funding to the centre is an absolute disgrace.
The minister’s answer at question time in this last parliamentary sitting week demonstrated a lack of understanding of the work the centre does in Victoria with Victorian farming families. He has chosen to be opportunistic by hanging the state government’s hat on the word ‘national’ in the centre’s title as an excuse for not funding this incredibly important Victorian rural initiative. Each and every member of this government who claims to care even a little bit about our farmers and our regions should hang their head in shame.