Fifteen local dairy farming businesses have been awarded grants of up to $20,000 from the federal government's Energy Efficient Communities Program

Federal grant to see local dairy farmers reduce their energy bills

Dairy farmers across Australia are getting support from the government to lower their power bills so they can reinvest in their business and employ more people.

Through the government's Energy Efficient Communities Program, 15 local dairy farming businesses have been awarded grants of up to $20,000.

This will help dairy farmers to reduce their energy bills by upgrading to more energy efficient equipment such as vacuum pumps, cooling and heating equipment, or lighting, investing in monitoring systems to better manage their energy use, or having energy audits done on their operations.

Dairy farmers are at the centre of an industry every Australian relies on. Their products line supermarket shelves and fill our fridges.

With energy a significant cost of doing business in the dairy industry, these grants will help farmers lower their bills and help ensure the long-term viability of their businesses.

Helping dairies cut power bills by becoming more energy efficient will assist their financial pressures and reduce our emissions.

The Energy Efficient Communities Program was announced as part of the government's $3.5 billion Climate Solutions Package to deliver on Australia's 2030 climate commitments.

I know not everyone who sought funding was successful, but I will keep you informed of the next round.

Extending support for older Australians

The government is extending the Older Persons COVID-19 Support Line until June 30, 2021, to ensure senior Australians get the support they need.

Senior Australians who would like information and support are encouraged to contact the Older Persons COVID-19 Support Line on 1800 171 866, Monday to Friday between 8.30am and 6pm, except public holidays.

Between April and October 2020, the support line received more than 5000 inbound calls and provided more than 29,000 outbound calls.

The top five reasons for calls were: wellbeing checks; information about COVID-19; advice to vulnerable people; travel restrictions; access to new, or queries about existing, home care services.