‘Overlooked’ council calls for quicker drought support
THERE are a range of support options available to communities and individuals struggling with the drought, but securing this vital funding can be an arduous process.
The issue was broached at the last Somerset Regional Council meeting of the year, during discussion around the Community Drought Support Program grants.
Council was successful in securing fresh funding through this program, which will be used to host a number of community events, including an Outback Dinner Dance, two workshops, and a bus trip/luncheon.
While discussing the fund, councillors acknowledged the lack of direct support from higher levels of government, and the difficulties faced by locals in securing support of their own.
“Somerset feels very overlooked, due to where we are geographically,” Councillor Sean Choat said.
Councillor Dan Hall argued there needed to be an easier, quicker process for landowners to access support.
“They make it as hard as possible for people,” he said. “They need to simplify the bloody thing.
“With all of the paperwork that goes into it, by the time they get through it all, they just want to throw it in the bin.”
Somerset Mayor Graeme Lehmann recommended those in need consult the National Farmers’ Federation website at farmhub.org.au/
The website offers a range of services and support to assist farmers, businesses, households and individuals.
“It gives users the opportunity to search for funding from federal, state and not-for-profit groups based on their postcode,” Cr Lehmann said.
“This allows people to access the support and services that are the most relevant to them in the Somerset region.”