Smarter, safer farms
Smarter, Safer Farms is a four-year $20 million program, that is investing in projects to:
- 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:
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
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:
- Kidsafe Victoria,
- National Centre for Farmer Health,
- Victorian Agriculture Horticulture and Conservation Training Network,
- Australian Workers Union,
- Victorian Farmers Federation,
- United Workers Union,
- Worksafe Victoria,
- Department of Health and Human Services,
- Agriculture Victoria
- Department of Education and Training.
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.
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.
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.
- Victorian Farmers Federation – Be Farm Safe
- WorkSafe Victoria – Agriculture safety information
- Dairy Australia - Farm Safety and Wellbeing
- Kidsafe Victoria - Farm Safety
- The Royal Life Saving Society of Australia – Keep Watch @ the Farm (PDF)
- Country Fire Authority – Prepare your farm for fires
- National Centre for Farmer Health:
- Primezone – Agriculture education in schools resources
WorkSafe can offer Farm Safety Checklists or free confidential safety audits and advice via its programs.