Wangaratta landholders have offered their land to house and feed animals affected by the drought and bushfires in northern NSW and Queensland, as part of an Australia-first registry.
Mayor Dean Rees said a Wangaratta resident Simon Verdon came to him asking whether there was a way he could offer spare acres of land to those who face putting down their animals because there was nowhere to house them.
He said council had started a register of farmers and property owners in the municipality who were willing to offer land to house both livestock like sheep and cattle, as well as domesticated pets like horses.
Cr Rees said sharing their land was a simple way Wangaratta landholders could show solidarity with their northern neighbours.
"It's a friendship arrangement... no agenda, we just want to help out," he said.
"Here in Victoria we haven't had to the massive drought or fires yet, so we're prepared to help out like we know they'd do for us if we were in that situation."
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Cr Rees said many landholders can empathise with those affected and don't want to see good animals killed.
"Some of these animals are family pets that people simply can't house at the minute as there's no house on the property, or there's no feed, or no fences," he said.
"Hopefully we can house them for six months or so until insurance comes through and then there'll be some feed or maybe some rain has come.
"We've had droughts before, we've had flooding.
"Just last year we had fencing and land ruined by floods, but we were relatively lucky it was only on a certain belt so other properties could help out.
"But you look at the devastation up there and it's thousands and thousands of acres that are no good."
Cr Rees said council was compiling a register of available properties to give to Victoria Farming Federation who would assist with the legalities and practicalities of transporting animals interstate.
He said the register details how long a landholder could offer their land, what kind of fencing they have and what type of land and feed was available.
The registry is the first of its kind in Australia, Cr Rees said, but hopefully more municipalities would take up the idea and open their land to animals and farmers in need.
Cr Rees said council was hoping the federal government could cover the cost of transporting the animals to Wangaratta through a grant.
Federal member for Indi Helen Haines said she and Cr Rees had spoken about the project.
"It's a terrific, practical proposal by local landholders who have paddocks and pasture to offer and a generous response by mayor and councillors to try to put this help in place for farmers and their stock facing such difficult circumstances," she said.
"I said we'd do some work in my office to look at how that could operate. We'll also review Commonwealth programs that might be available to support the Rural City's initiative."