From 2015-17, the Mallee, Wimmera, North Central and Glenelg Hopkins Catchment Management Authorities delivered the Drought Employment Program, as part of the state’s broader response to the economic and social
impacts of the drought. Over 18 months, the program provided drought affected farmers, farm workers and individuals the opportunity to earn off-farm income to support their families, contribute towards local environment outcomes and build skills for the future. Key stakeholders were generous in their praise for the work teams and participants felt they made a valuable contribution to their local communities.
"Everyone in town notices that things are getting done and it gives you a lot of pride in the work when you get some acknowledgement from the community – it makes it all worthwhile." - Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (2017) Final Evaluation Report: Drought Employment Program 2015-17.
In 2013, SPC Ardmona announced a dramatic reduction in fruit purchasing contracts worth more than $100 million to the local economy, sending shock waves through the Goulburn region. In response, Goulburn Broken CMA established the Fruit Industry Employment Program, working in partnership with local councils and Parks Victoria to provide much needed employment for affected fruit growers. FIEP participants contributed almost 40,000 hours of environmental works, including 1500 hectares of weed control and 67 kilometres of fencing, while receiving significant income, skills training, and informal social network support.