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Health boost for farmers

1 July 2014

The National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) has welcomed today’s announcement of funding for the National Centre for Farmer Health.

“Profitable farms start with healthy farmers. A healthy rural workforce is one that is well-informed and has a good understanding of risks associated with their workplace,” said Mr Matt Linnegar, CEO of the NFF.

“The Centre has played a key role in helping farming families develop a greater appreciation that maintaining health and safety is a vital part of running successful businesses.

“Today’s announcement will help the Centre continue to develop and deliver much-needed programs to address the unique health and safety needs of the farming community,” Mr Linnegar said.

Operating since 2008, the Centre runs and operates a range of effective programs that address farmer health, well-being and safety issues. One of the programs is the internationally-recognised and nationally-run Sustainable Farm Families program.

“We commend the Member for Wannon, Mr Dan Tehan, for his tenacity in pursuing this worthy cause and Assistant Minister for Health, Senator Fiona Nash, for recognising the centre's contribution in undertaking critical research, and providing support and information directly to farmers, particularly in the face of cuts to traditional regional health services,” said Mr Linnegar.

“The announcement of joint funding from the Australian and Victorian Governments comes at a critical time, as the Centre has been battling to survive. The NFF and members have been strong advocates for the Centre and have continued to raise its plight with Government.

“The Victorian Farmers’ Federation should be particularly credited for working with the Victorian Government to ensure the Centre has additional funding and a home in regional Australia.

“The NFF is a strong supporter of initiatives that provide real outcomes for farmers and rural communities. While we welcome today’s announcement, ongoing funding is needed for this Centre, and for many other rural health initiatives such as the Australian Centre for Agricultural Health and Safety, based in Moree,” Mr Linnegar said.

The National Centre for Farmer Health is a partnership between Deakin University and Western District Health Service and is based in Hamilton. Further information on the work of the Centre is available at [www.farmerhealth.org.au/]www.farmerhealth.org.au

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