Bunyip Complex bushfires - business, farm and economic recovery
Accessing economic recovery services
- Susie Wickes, our Economic Recovery Officer, is working full time until September 2022 to help fire-affected businesses that are now being further impacted by COVID-19.
- We encourage all businesses in the bushfire area to contact Susie to see how she can help. Contact Susie by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 0435 173 746
- Support for local businesses is also available at our Cardinia Business portal
A new Food and Tourism Strategy for West Gippsland via the West Gippsland Progress Association (WGPA)
- The West Gippsland Progress Association (WGPA) has partnered with Council’s Bushfire Recovery Team to work towards long-lasting recovery for the bushfire-affected community.
- Council is supporting the WGPA to launch a food and tourism strategy to put West Gippsland on the Melbourne tourist map.
- The West Gippsland Food and Tourism Strategy is available on the West Gippsland Progress Association website.
- If you run a farm or business in the rural areas between Pakenham and Warragul, the WGPAis offering you the chance to be involved in implementing the strategy.
About the food and tourism strategy
The strategy aims to:
- support business recovery following the Bunyip Complex Bushfires
- promote West Gippsland’s tourism products and experiences, and the region’s food tourism/agritourism point of difference.
- outline key actions for the region as it strives towards sustainable tourism that delivers economic, social, cultural and environmental benefits into the future.
- provide a strong foundation for future long-term tourism planning and development.
- provide local government, industry, stakeholders and the community with a clear analysis of West Gippsland tourism.
Opportunity to get involved in the new food and tourism strategy
Local businesses are encouraged to get involved in the first stage of the strategy:
- Have your business featured in the marketing collateral (printed, online, film)
- Registration with Australia Tourism Data Warehouse (ATDW)
- Free quality tourism training
To get involved, please contact email@example.com
To find out more contact Erin Polson or Susie Wickes.
Ph: 0435 284 880
Ph: 0435 173 746
Business Networking Events
WGPA are running a series of monthly networking evenings from July to November for local businesses and alike. All local food & tourism businesses within Nar Nar Goon to Bunyip & surrounds, community representatives, or people interested in prospering the region are encouraged to attend.
WGPA will host these events on the first Monday of every month - 5.30 pm - 7.00 pm at various locations in and around Bunyip, Garfield, Tynong, and Nar Nar Goon & surrounds.
- Monday 4 July - Increase Business Profile & Events
- Monday 1 August - Provenance Branding & Local Produce
- Monday 5 September - Social Media Campaign (Taste West Gippsland)
- Monday 3 October - Ambassador / Influencers
- Monday 7 November - Summer Events Calendar / Celebration of the Year
Please join us to connect & network with local businesses whilst listening to key topics each month and appreciating local venues over a delicious meal.
Regenerative Agriculture Training Program
WGPA in partnership with Western Port Catchment Landcare Network are delivering a Regenerative Training Program for farmers in Cardinia during August-September.
The popular 7 week program will be delivered by leaders in regenerative agriculture giving you unique insights and tailored advice for implementing these practices on your farm!
Session will run on 7 consecutive Fridays from 10am-2pm and include farm walks on local regenerative farms. There may be an occasional Zoom session
- Friday 19 August - Introduction to Regenerative Ag – myths and misconceptions
- Friday 26 August – Soils: Living roots, organic matter, soil biology and nutrient cycling
- Friday 2 September – Soils: Minimising disturbance, maximise coverage, soil monitoring
- Friday 9 September - Livestock & grazing systems
- Friday 16 September - Integration of trees
- Friday 23 September - Financial indicators and transitioning to Regenerative Ag
- Friday 30 September - Developing your regenerative farm action plan
There are only 25 places available. To request an application form, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org before 15th July.
‘West Gippsland is Regenerating Australia’ event
Find out how West Gippsland is Regenerating Australia one farm and many farmers, at one time.
Come along, listen, learn, and discuss all elements of Regenerative Agriculture, with a handful of the best.
Session will cover
- Regenerative Agriculture for small to medium properties
- Biodiversity and ecosystem services to benefit farm productivity
- Climate Smart Farms and Farmers
- Agricultural sector efficiency improvements
- Reshaping global Food Systems
- Regional Provenance branding
- Healthy soils for healthy meals
Each session will have a speaker, time for Q&A, and an opportunity to speak one on one, in the breaks.
Producers and growers of all livestock and crops welcome, including growers of flowers, vegetables, fruit, grain and other crops of all growing techniques and technology.
- Thursday 11 August 2022
- 9:15 am-3:45 pm for Session
- 3:45 - 4:30 pm WGPA Networking and Pizza
- Tonimbuk Hall, 1900 Gembrook-Tonimbuk Rd, Tonimbuk
This is a free event (morning tea, lunch and afternoon pizzas provided), numbers are limited so to register email email@example.com
This event is presented by West Gippsland Progress Association (WGPA) with the support of the Cardinia Shire’s Community Recovery team.
- Farmers Assistance Hotline: 132 316 for farming families experiencing financial hardship. (Mon to Fri, 8am to 8pm).
- Centrelink: 132 850
- Insurance Council of Australia disaster hotline: 1800 734 621 Claims from affected policyholders will be given priority.
- Rural Financial Counselling Service (RFCS): 1300 045 747 Free financial counselling to farmers and small related businesses.
- State Trustees: 1300 138 672
- Superannuation: 1300 131 060 (early access on compassionate grounds)
- Victorian Disaster Legal Aid: 1800 677 402
- Consumer Affairs Victoria: 1300 55 81 81 or www.consumer.vic.gov.au/disasterhelp
- Australian Passport Information Service: 131 232 you may be eligible for a free replacement passport if it has been lost or damaged in the fires.
Support for primary producers
Fence support for primary producers
Bushfire Recovery Victoria (BRV), Rural Aid and Macedon Ranges Shire Council are teaming up to give away free fence posts to primary producers.
- The program is available for primary producers located in Cardinia Shire.
- The fence posts are made from storm-damaged timber that originated from 6 local government areas impacted by the June 2021 storms and floods.
- The timber is repurposed from green waste obtained over the course of BRV’s Residential Storm and Flood Clean-up program.
- To be eligible, you must provide supporting documentation that shows you are a primary producer with a current ABN. You also need to be registered with Rural Aid.
For more information and to submit an expression of interest visit the Rural Aid website
Recovery grants for primary producers
Primary producers impacted by the June 2021 storm can apply for grants of up to $25,000 to recover costs associated with recovery activities.
- removing fallen trees, silt and debris
- specialist support for landslip and erosion
- repairs or replacement of damaged farm infrastructure such as fencing and equipment.
For more information or to apply for a grant visit the Rural Finance website
- Want locals to know where your business is? List it on the Buy Local map on the Cardinia Business portal.
- If you’re looking for assistance with your farm or business, the Cardinia Business team is here to help.
More info: Cardinia Business
Develop your business skills with free online learning
Business Victoria has free business programs available. The wide range of practical help and resources are aimed to prepare individuals and businesses for a stronger recovery.
More info: Business Victoria
Tax support webinars for small businesses
The Australian Tax Office (ATO) has a series of free webinars available that cover both general and industry-specific areas of tax obligations for small businesses.
- The webinars are interactive online seminars presented by experienced tax officers.
- The webinars are live and you can ask questions to help you apply the information to your situation.
- Each session runs for approximately 45 to 60 minutes.
These sessions may be suitable if you are:
- Starting a new business or just thinking about starting one
- Updating your knowledge
- Work in any of the industry-specific areas advertised
- Closing your business
To view the list of topics or register for a webinar visit the Australian Tax Office website.