Labor must finally provide drought-stricken farmers with rates relief
Monday 18 February 2019
Drought in Gippsland and Northern Victoria has pushed farmers to the brink and the Andrews Government must act immediately on farmers’ calls for council rate relief.
Comment attributable to Shadow Minister for Agriculture Peter Walsh
Locals are hearing the Agriculture Minister will visit Gippsland this Friday, and they are saying she shouldn’t turn up at all if she comes empty-handed.
The time for talk and visits is well passed. Farmers made it clear before last November’s election that they want the State Government to step up and provide financial relief in the form of council rates subsidies.
Comment attributable to Member for Gippsland East Tim Bull
Our farmers are in desperate need of assistance, but we can’t get Daniel Andrews to provide what’s needed.
Council rates relief would put money back in the pockets of farmers who are struggling to make ends meet, and help them pay other bills in their local communities.
Comment attributable to Member for Gippsland South Danny O’Brien
It hasn’t gone unnoticed that the Premier hasn’t managed to get past Traralgon since drought was declared and with dry conditions expected to continue it’s critical the Andrews Government starts listening to our farmers.
If the Agriculture Minister is coming to our region on Friday, she must come with genuine help for our local farmers in the form of council rates relief.
On today’s decision from Woolworths to increase the price of milk by 10¢ per litre, Mr Walsh said dairy farmers were under growing pressure to hang on in an industry that’s currently facing the perfect storm of drought, low milk prices and a high cost of water.
“Victorian dairy farmers work hard to provide a high-quality product, which is why they’ve fought against the supermarket’s $1-a-litre milk since it was introduced in 2011,” Mr Walsh said.
“Today’s price bump is too little too late for those dairy farmers and their families who have already made the heart-breaking decision to exit the industry, bringing to an end generations of hard-work and dedication.
“Woolworths and other supermarkets need to take responsibility for the long-term damage that iron-fisted marketing gimmicks like this have on markets and the entire industry.”