Bendigo calls for drought inclusion
Bendigo Council is calling for a drought declaration.
The Victorian Government says it is monitoring conditions as the lack of rain continues.
Bendigo council has made a formal application to the Government, asking for the region to be added to the list of drought-declared Victorian municipalities.
Eleven shires in western and central Victoria are already on the list.
Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford said the Government was maintaining a tight focus on around Bendigo and to the west.
“To the people in the City of Greater Bendigo who are impacted by this I would say that we are monitoring conditions closely, we will continue to do so but our response to date has been targeted to those communities who have been most profoundly impacted,” she said this week.
“We continue to monitor conditions across Victoria and there are a number of communities that are close to the 11 and are seeking support.
“There are a number of aspects of our drought support package which are available statewide, including on-farm advice and access to rural financial counselling.”
Bendigo councillor and farmer James Williams has told the ABC that feed, stock and domestic water supplies are running low.
“I guess it's the water shortage that's hitting home as well as the extended dry,” he said.
“People are running out of feed, they're carting hay and carting fodder but they're also carting water and water's become a real concern going forward.
“I guess the Loddon Shire and as you head west have been in drought, or drought declared, for some time now in regards to that but what's happened of course is that it's just continued to sneak further to the east.
“So what we've seen is Bendigo ... Bendigo council areas have really felt the effects of this in the last 12 months.”