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Dairy crisis isn’t over Bignell

The Weatherill Labor Government’s failure to finalise guidelines around the dairy concessional loans have left South Australian dairy farmers in a cloud of uncertainty.

The Victorian and Tasmanian Governments have released their respective dairy concessional loan guidelines, enabling dairy farmers affected by the recent dairy crisis to budget for the turbulent year ahead.

“Following the Weatherill Government’s failure in administering drought loans it is very disappointing they are now dragging their heels on dairy loans,” said Shadow Minister for Agriculture,” David Ridgway.

“Dairy farmers in Victoria and Tasmania now know if they will be eligible for dairy concessional loans and can start to prepare a business plan and budget to see them through these tough times.

“The Weatherill Government has not afforded the same opportunity to South Australian dairy farmers with only two days left before the end of the financial year.”

At the State Government’s Regional Summit 2016 last month in the State’s South East, dairy farmers called for clarity in respect of dairy relief packages, a hand in reducing costs and more mental health funding.

“The Weatherill Government has failed to deliver any of the assistance that industry called for at the Government’s regional summit. It must do so in next week’s State Budget,” said Mr Ridgway.

“Once again, the concerns of our regional communities has fallen on deaf ears.

“The Weatherill Government must ensure South Australian dairy farmers know if they will be eligible for these loans as soon as possible so they can plan and budget for the uncertain year ahead.

“Minister Bignell has dropped the ball on the dairy crisis and as a result our dairy farmers have been left in an unnecessary state of uncertainty and stress.”