Friday 22 February 2019
The drought package announced by the Victorian Government today is a disappointing token gesture.
The package is a long way short of what farmers have been calling for and what they were expecting.
This is a $13 million band-aid and it’s grossly inadequate in the context of the catastrophic conditions that have been slowly crushing our farmers for months now.
Farmers are watching the bills pile up. Some faced rates notices this month of tens of thousands of dollars while at the same time spending thousands of dollars each week to keep livestock fed and watered.
Daniel Andrews must loosen the purse strings and he must do it fast before our farmers walk away and banks move in.
We repeat again: a program of council rates rebates must be implemented by the State Government as soon as possible. Fixed water charge rebates must also be on the table.
Both State and Federal Governments must help our farmers and rural communities to get through these insidious conditions.
In the spirit of cooperation and getting as much assistance as we can quickly for Victorian farmers this week we co-signed a letter to the Prime Minister requesting the acceleration of Commonwealth funds and programs.
This letter in no way absolves Daniel Andrews and his Government of their State responsibility to provide substantial and immediate help to our drought affected Victorians.
Daniel Andrews expects the Prime Minister to do more but he needs to do more himself.
Daniel Andrews needs to put his money where his mouth is.