13 Feb 2009

Farmers offer help to Victoria bushfire victims

9:18 am on 13 February 2009

Federated Farmers will offer the use of holiday accommodation for Victorian farming families needing respite after the trauma of the bushfires.

The death toll from the fires in the Australian state of Victoria stands at 181 and more than 615 farms have been burned.

Victoria's Farmers Federation expects it will be four months before any sign of grass growth will be seen again.

Federated Farmers of New Zealand president Don Nicolson has spoken with farmers in Victoria, who have told him their biggest requirement for is getting feed for their animals.

The President of the Victorian Farmers Federation says cash donations would be welcome, and also the use of holiday homes for stressed-out families.

Mr Nicolson says his organisation provided holiday accommodation for Australian farmers struggling with the the drought two years ago and is prepared to help again, during what he described as the awful catastrophe of the fires.