The Liberal Member for Northern Victoria Wendy Lovell has challenged the State Government to provide more assistance to drought-affected Victorian farmers in the form of municipal rate relief.
Speaking in State Parliament during an adjournment debate directed to Agriculture Minister Jaclyn Symes, Ms Lovell called on the Andrews Labor Government to commit funding to provide municipal rate relief to Victoria’s drought affected farmers, including those in Northern Victoria.
Ms Lovell described the current situation faced by farmers of scarce and highly priced feed, together with the current exorbitant price of water as a “perfect storm of adversity” and the recent arrival of the dreaded 2019/20 municipal rate notice is yet another challenge for Victorian farmers.
In her contribution, Ms Lovell noted that in previous responses on the issue Ms Symes had not ruled out providing rate subsidies for Victoria’s farmers and reiterated that now was the perfect time for funding to provide municipal rate relief.
Comments attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Wendy Lovell:
“With council rate notices for 2019/20 recently arriving in farmers’ letterboxes, the time is right for the State Government to commit funding that will provide municipal rate relief to Victoria’s drought affected farmers, including those in my electorate of Northern Victoria.
“The potential loss of a generation of young farmers will be devastating for the fabric of Victoria’s agricultural sector and the support previously offered of a one off cash payment of up to $3,500 is far from adequate with most farmers facing an annual rates bill in excess of $20,000.
“The Minister has previously indicated that rate subsidies for Victorian farmers may be considered in the future and I call on her to put her money where her mouth is and give our wonderful farmers the support they need.”
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