Smarter, safer farms

Smarter, Safer Farms is a four-year $20 million program, that is investing in projects to:

3 farmers in a pasture looking at monitoring equipment

  • keep farmers, workers and farm families safe and well
  • help farmers make sound business and farm management decisions
  • ensure farmers are prepared and have strategies to manage their business through drought and the impacts of climate change
  • support farmers to capture the benefits of innovation and new technologies, and
  • position agriculture as a career of choice.

Smarter, Safer Farms includes $10 million of farm safety and wellbeing initiatives to change Victoria’s farm safety culture and reduce the number of deaths and injuries on farms. It also includes a $10 million skills program, that is providing targeted training to build capability in:

  • financial literacy
  • risk management
  • farm planning
  • adaptation to climate change.

Farm Safety Rebate Scheme

Making our farms safer places to work and live

A $2 million funding increase will allow more applicants with submitted eligible applications to receive a rebate.

Applications submitted since the program was launched on 25 February 2021 and closed on 30 March 2021 are being processed in date order, and only activities undertaken since the commencement of the program are eligible for assistance.

The program is fully subscribed and remains closed to new applications.

Rural Finance will directly contact existing applicants to advise about eligibility and if funds are available.

For further updates about this program, please visit  Rural Finance.

Bush Nursing in Gippsland

This 12-month preventative healthcare project for remote communities in East Gippsland is increasing health and wellbeing support for farmers, farming families and rural communities.

Funding for Bush Nursing Centres in Buchan, Cann Valley, Dargo, Ensay, Gelantipy District and Swifts Creek will ensure more services are available, including extra primary health, community, clinical, emergency, home-based and referral services.

Results of this project will help inform future health and wellbeing projects for farmers in remote Victoria.

Farmers or community members requiring health support can contact their local Bush Nursing Centre directly:

Buchan Bush Nursing Centre
61 Main Street, Buchan
(03) 5155 9222

Cann Valley Bush Nursing Centre
27 Monaro Highway, Cann River
(03) 5158 6274 or (03) 5158 6210

Dargo Bush Nursing Centre
72 Lind Avenue, Dargo
(03) 5140 1246

Ensay Bush Nursing Centre
5063 Great Alpine Road, Ensay
(03) 5157 3215

Gelantipy District Bush Nursing Centre
1 Saleyard Road, Gelantipy
(03) 5155 0274

Swifts Creek Bush Nursing Centre
17 McMillan Avenue, Swifts Creek
(03) 5159 4210

The project is being delivered by the Victorian Department of Health and is funded by Agriculture Victoria to keep farmers, workers and farm families safe and well.

Smarter, safer farms project areas

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Two leadership bodies, the Farm Safety Council and Farm Skills Victoria have been established to provide leadership and guidance across the initiatives and to consider how we can work collaboratively to meet the skill and safety needs of the agriculture sector into the future.

The Farm Safety Council includes membership from the following organisations:

Farm Skills Victoria includes membership from the following organisations:

The program also delivers on the skills and education part of the Victorian Government’s Digital Agriculture Strategy. Investments are being made in the department’s SmartFarms and a schools and industry program that enables students and industry to learn and benefit from SmartFarm demonstration trials and technology. This includes expansion of the Get into Genes program to incorporate digital agriculture.

Agriculture Victoria is working with Kidsafe Victoria to improve child safety on farms. Kidsafe is developing free resources for schools and families. Kidsafe will also run competitions for kids to submit videos, stories, posters and other media to be the focus of an Australian farm safety social media campaign. The program and resources will suit both online and face to face classes.

Access resources and participate in the KidSafe program.

The National Centre for Farmer Health has partnered with Smarter, Safer Farms to deliver 20 Gear-Up for Ag Health & Safety™ workshops to participating secondary schools.

Through practical and interactive workshops students will be provided training to make working on farms safer. Students will also be provided a kit of personal protective equipment.

Express your interest in having a workshop delivered at your school.

Smarter, Safer Farms is complemented by Making our Farms Safer, a commitment to invest $3 million over four years to:

  • increase health checks for farmers
  • deliver a new campaign to raise greater workplace safety awareness
  • help the Victorian Farmers Federation employ two additional Farm Safety Officers.



For general advice relating to farm safety, please contact WorkSafe Victoria phone: 1800 136 089.

WorkSafe can offer Farm Safety Checklists or free confidential safety audits and advice via its programs.

Page last updated: 09 Jun 2021