Drought Information

Areas of the municipality are experiencing consecutive dry seasons or drought conditions, which are having a significant impact on the livelihoods of some dryland farming businesses and communities.

Accessing additional support can make a major difference to an individual, family and/or whole community in relieving the financial, social and economic pressures currently being felt in drought-affected communities.

For more information www.agriculture.gov.au/ag-farm-food/drought

This page will provide regular updates on what has been done up to now, what is planned, as well contacts to go to for support.

Farming

Agriculture Victoria works as the interface between farming communities and the State Government (Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions). It offers a wide range of information, direction and practical support for famers caught in dry season conditions.

For more information please call 136 186 or to register your interest for any of the new programs please email drought.support@agriculture.vic.gov.au

Financial

The Rural Financial Counselling Service counsellors work with farmers, one-on-one, to help with dealing with the stresses of financial hardship, setting goals and working with people to achieve them. They are an access point to Government assistance, industry and professional support programs, as well as information and referrals to assist you with managing personal stress.

For more information please call Rural Financial Counselling Service Victoria - North West on 1300 769 489 or visit www.sunrcs.com.au

Millewa drought relief projects

Council received $1 million through the Federal Government’s Drought Communities Program in April 2019, which has been held in a Drought Community Reserve since October 2019.

Councillors voted to allocate this funding to three Millewa-based projects at the February Ordinary Council Meeting on Wednesday 26 February 2020.

Preparations for each project have started with community consultation, scope refinement, design and planning. Input from the Millewa community and key user groups is vital and Council is committed to include them throughout this process. Please see below for details on these three projects:

Lake Cullulleraine Foreshore amenities

The project will upgrade amenities on the Lake Cullulleraine foreshore for use by both local and visitors. Activities could include new lighting, a permanent stage, upgrade of the playground area, BBQ, camp kitchen facilities and tourist information board. The projects would also see a floating pontoon constructed on the lake. The project has the potential to directly employ local residents by engaging local contractors, as well as stimulate tourism and improve access to facilities. 

Estimated Cost: $195,000
Estimated Timeframe: 12-18 Months

Millewa Resource Centre upgrades

The project will enhance facilities within the Millewa Resource Centre. The former tennis clubrooms, this building is currently leased to the Millewa-Carwarp Landcare Group. It is also used regularly to host a visiting Council Library service. Upgrades proposed include improved kitchen and toilet facilities and has the potential to directly employ residents by engaging local contractors.

Estimated Cost: $30,000
Estimated Timeframe: 2-3 Months

Cullulleraine Community Complex and Netball Court

This project will upgrade and improve the Cullulleraine Community Complex. Improvements could be made to the toilets, football and netball change rooms and other areas. Outside works could include new directional signage, playground shade areas and the addition of a second netball court. This project would improve access to local services and facilities and has the potential to directly employ residents by engaging local contractors.

Estimated Cost: $845,000
Estimated Timeframe: 18-24 Months

Personal

There are a range of services available to assist farmers and families to manage the stress and distress associated with drought.

For more information please call Rural Finance on 1800 260 425 or visit ruralfinance.com.au or National Centre for Farmers Health on (03) 5551 8533 or visit www.farmerhealth.org.au

If you (or someone you know) is in need of crisis support please contact:

Befrienders Worldwide (for our international visitors) 1300 78 99 78 The Victorian Government also has a comprehensive list of support services available for Millewa-Carwarp residents impacted by the drought, which are contained in the two attached documents.

Rate Relief

The Victorian Government Drought Support Package was announced in November 2019 and included the Local Government Support Payment (LGSP), which provided local Councils with the flexibility to support drought-affected farming businesses and their communities.

In our municipality’s case, the Victorian Government initially provided $420,000 (ex GST) in LGSP funding which could be used to provide rate relief, and an additional $250,000 (ex GST) for infrastructure or community-building projects.

Based on feedback from drought-affected farmers, a request was made to the Victorian Government to allow the total funding package to be used for rate relief through a subsidy process.

The Victorian Government agreed to this request, allowing Council to apply the full $670,000 in LGSP funding to 253 broad acre dryland farm rate assessments in the Millewa-Carwarp area, which was completed in December 2019. 

Sand drift

January 2021 update

All roads closures linked to the recent sand drift event are now open to residents and the public.

An estimated 700,000 tonnes of sand drift has been removed from more than 450 kilometres of Millewa roads affected.

Despite the unusual challenges posed by the sand drift, it’s led to several positive outcomes for the community.

About 3000 tonnes of sand removed from roads was donated to several local golf clubs to help with their restoration works.

Sand was also used to top-dress playing fields at several sporting precincts. The remainder was moved to farmers' paddocks in locations that weren't susceptible to sand drift.

Background

In November 2019, ongoing drought conditions led to a major sand drift event in the Millewa.

More than 450 kilometres of road network was affected, leading to the closure of around 50 kilometres of road. A further 180kms of the network was severely impacted.

With financial aid from the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure program, Council began work to clear high-priority roads in late 2019.

This included roads necessary to allow access for emergency services, for residents to access their properties as well as a point of access to people’s title of land.

Current road closures

*Please note, as of January 2021 all affected roads are now open.