Walsh urges Premier to visit drought affected towns

Thursday 12 November 2015

Leader of The Nationals Peter Walsh has used an adjournment in Parliament to urge Daniel Andrews to visit drought-affected farming areas in the Wimmera and southern Mallee.

Mr Walsh told Parliament that while Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford had visited, the Premier should do the same to gain a first-hand insight into the issues faced by Wimmera and southern Mallee farming communities.

“I think it would be good for the Premier to see first-hand the issues being confronted by those farmers and by those communities,” Mr Walsh said.

“Last week I travelled through the area to Warracknabeal and joined Member for Lowan Emma Kealy, Federal Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce and Member for Mallee Andrew Broad in a meeting with local farmers.

“The drought has put farmers under severe financial pressure, and that has a flow-through effect into the community. That money is not being cycled through the communities. 

“If he chooses to visit, Daniel Andrews could tell local farmers and the community about what support the state government will put in place.”

Mr Walsh said in previous droughts rate relief programs had been offered to farmers, which included discounts to fixed water charges.

He told Parliament there was a business case currently being developed into supplying water to Wedderburn farmers which aren’t being serviced by the Wimmera-Mallee Pipeline.

“I would ask the Premier to also in his trip, if he goes, include Wedderburn so he can talk to the farmers there about the issues they have with the supply of water,” Mr Walsh said.

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