The Andrews Labor Government has appointed a new Rural Assistance Commissioner to engage with Victoria’s agricultural communities and provide advice to government on how they can best be supported into the future.
Minister for Agriculture and Regional Development Jaclyn Symes today announced that former Victorian Farmers Federation President Peter Tuohey would take up the role to provide insight on the challenges and opportunities facing regional and rural communities.
Responding to ongoing drought and dry seasonal conditions, challenges within parts of the dairy industry and opportunities to boost Victoria’s agriculture output will be a key focus while Mr Tuohey engages with communities and workers across the sector.
The Commissioner will also focus on the rollout of the Labor Government’s recently announced $31 million drought support package, and the impacts and needs of the dairy industry transition in Northern Victoria.
Mr Tuohey will engage with farmers and rural communities to identify any immediate and emerging issues coming out of difficult seasonal conditions and industry transition, as well as informing what assistance might be needed in the future.
Alongside Mr Tuohey, the Labor Government will continue to work with local governments, business groups, industry bodies and community organisations to make sure regional and rural Victorians are getting the support they need.
As noted by Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes
“Peter Tuohey’s appointment is a great outcome for country Victorians. His track record with the agriculture sector speaks for itself – he will be a huge asset in making sure rural communities have the support they need.”
“I look forward to working closely with Mr Tuohey while we continue supporting rural communities, particularly those experiencing difficult seasonal conditions and transitions within industries like dairy.”
As stated by Rural Assistance Commissioner Peter Tuohey
“I look forward to working with regional and rural communities to help them face the challenges ahead with resilience and optimism.”