Ms TIERNEY (Western Victoria) — I take this opportunity to congratulate the National Centre for Farmer Health, which has attracted yet another international award this month. Alison Kennedy, who is the centre’s behavioural scientist, was one of two people to receive an award from the American Association of Suicidology. She received the award for her research project on suicide in farming families. This accolade is yet another in the long list of national and international awards won by the National Centre for Farmer Health. I have mentioned in this place on previous occasions that representatives of the Canadian government have flown to Australia and shown particular interest in the centre’s programs. This interest has continued, and the Canadian government has invited the centre’s director to visit Canada for further discussions on implementing the hugely successful National Centre for Farmer Health programs in Alberta, Canada.
With the ongoing interest in and numerous international awards for the centre, it continues to be completely baffling to the farming community around Victoria why the Napthine government refuses to fund what is obviously a hugely successful organisation. Even the Victorian Farmers Federation has echoed this sentiment, with the organisation’s president, Peter Tuohey, being quoted recently as having said:
“It’s just beyond belief that they’re not funding it; it’s a sorry state of affairs.”
Jim Fletcher said:
“It makes us dismayed and frustrated that we can get international recognition, yet our politicians at this point haven’t been able to provide funding.”
Come November next year, every Victorian in country Victoria will remember what the government has done to this centre.