Labor’s $36m cut to agriculture budget confirmed

Friday 13 May 2016

It was confirmed today that the Andrews Labor Government has cut agriculture funding by more than $36 million since coming to office.

When questioned by the Liberal-Nationals at a Public Accounts and Estimates Committee hearing this morning, Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford was forced to admit she had cut the agriculture output budget by $36.1 million – or 9 per cent.

In 2014/15 the Liberal-Nationals’ agriculture output budget was $388 million (2015/16 State Budget, BP3 p123) compared to Labor’s budget of $351.9 million this year (2016/17 State Budget, BP3 p123).

The cut comes at a time when the Andrews Government is boasting about a budget surplus thanks to billions of dollars in extra taxes.

Leader of The Nationals and Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Peter Walsh, said the agriculture funding cuts reflected the government’s opinion of country Victoria.

“It’s been clear from day one that the Andrews Government doesn’t care about agriculture or country Victoria,” Mr Walsh said.

“Before the election Labor made a lot of hysterical and incorrect claims about cuts to agriculture, yet as soon as they came to office they started slashing funding.

“The sad fact is that the further you live from Melbourne the less you’ll get from the Andrews Government.”

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