Slow clean-up a setback for bushfire recovery

Communities in north east Victoria and East Gippsland are questioning slow progress on work to clean up homes destroyed in the summer’s catastrophic bushfires. As of Monday, only 41 of 692 properties decimated in the bushfires have been cleaned up by government-appointed contractor, Grocon. Many families are now fearful their homes will not be cleaned…

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How low can VLine go?

Passengers on the Swan Hill and Echuca, and Bendigo lines continue to be plagued by frustrating delays and unreliable train services. Just 78.7 per cent of Bendigo services ran on time in March, while the Swan Hill and Echuca lines were on time 84.8 per cent of the time. All but one of Victoria’s eleven…

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Mark ANZAC Day at home and ‘Light up The Dawn’

The Murray Plains community is encouraged to commemorate our servicemen and women from home this year. All public ANZAC Day services have been cancelled this year as we all continue to do our part to stop the spread of COVID-19, but Leader of The Nationals and Member for Murray Plains Peter Walsh urged the community…

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LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Dear Editor, The emergency sitting of the Victorian Parliament is a critical opportunity to give our communities a voice during the unprecedented coronavirus outbreak. With the State of Emergency now in place until May 11, the sitting of Parliament on April 23 is our one chance to pass necessary legislation to keep our communities running.…

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Rates freeze to ease financial burden

The Liberal Nationals are calling for a freeze on farm rates to support farmers struggling with financial pressure caused by both the bushfires and the coronavirus pandemic. In recent years, massive increases to farm rates in some Local Government Areas have pushed up farmers’ rates burden by tens of thousands of dollars. Councils are currently…

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Expanded testing must include agriculture workforce

Any plans to expand criteria for priority testing for COVID-19 must include Victoria’s agriculture workforce. The Premier told Victorians today that “with such a substantial reduction in the tests we have to do on returned travellers, we have the potential to increase testing in other settings”. Currently, even a suspected case of coronavirus will put…

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JobKeeper payments must be exempt from payroll tax

Member for Murray Plains Peter Walsh is calling for the Federal Government’s $1500-a-fortnight JobKeeper payments to be exempt from Victoria’s payroll tax. The unprecedented package from the Federal Government is a boost for the small businesses and workers most hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. But Mr Walsh said without changes to existing Victorian law,…

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Victoria exposed to disease risk unless ag scientist job cuts are reversed

The Andrews Government must reverse its unexpected decision to close the Victorian Pig Services Centre (VPSC) – the industry’s frontline defence against devastating disease outbreaks. The Victorian Government blindsided our pork producers with the sudden closure of the Bendigo Centre on March 27 – without consultation with producers, the Victorian Farmers Federation or the national…

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Liberal Nationals call for transparency on COVID-19 response

A Joint House Committee of the Victorian Parliament should be established to ensure oversight on Victoria’s response to COVID-19 while parliamentary sittings are on indefinite hold. To save lives we will need to continue to take unprecedented action to combat the spread of COVID-19. But, like all government initiatives, these decisions should not be taken…

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Priority testing for food supply chain businesses

Food supply chain businesses will be relieved the State Government has finally come out to confirm our agriculture sector is an essential service. Farmers, food processors and businesses critical to making sure our supermarket shelves remain fully stocked have been desperate for clarification since Stage 1 restrictions to combat COVID-19 were announced more than a…

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Locals urged to look out for each other

Member for Murray Plains Peter Walsh is encouraging community members to look after their mental health and take the time to check in with loved ones and neighbours as work continues to combat the spread of COVID-19. Mr Walsh said there were measures we could all take to ensure our own wellbeing as our community…

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Use local workers to expand emergency care packs

Leader of The Nationals and Member for Murray Plains Peter Walsh has called on the Andrews Government to prioritise local people in the making of emergency care packs to assist those isolating as a result of COVID-19. Mr Walsh is also calling for an expansion of the care packs which are presently only being distributed…

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Bushfire-affected farmers billed for fence subsidies

The Liberal Nationals are calling on the Andrews Government to explain why it’s billing bushfire-affected farmers for the GST paid on government subsidies that funded the replacement of fencing destroyed in fires in East Gippsland and north-east Victoria. Bushfire-affected farmers could access a subsidy of up to $75,000 from the Department of Environment, Land, Water…

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