The Weekly Advertiser

Farmers welcome Coalition rate commitment

Victorian Farmers Federation president David Jochinke

Victorian Farmers Federation president David Jochinke.

Victorian farmer leaders have welcomed a Liberal-Nationals pledge to launch an independent inquiry into farm rates in Victoria if the Coalition wins government.
Victorian Farmers Federation president David Jochinke said the Coalition’s announcement was the first sign major parties or election candidates had heard farmers’ repeated calls.
“Enough is enough on the issue of Victoria’s unfair and unsustainable rating system, and the VFF welcomes this,” he said.
“The commitment to an independent inquiry on rates represents a significant breakthrough for the VFF’s 2018 state election campaign.
“But farmers will still be seeking further details and definite timelines in relation to any review.”
Mr Jochinke said based on the Coalition’s announcement, the terms of reference would direct an inquiry to deliver ‘actionable recommendations that help to make rates fair for farmers across Victoria’, with rates to be capped during the review.
The Coalition position on farm rates followed a VFF launch of a ‘state election scorecard’ indicating farmer satisfaction ratings for political parties and candidates on rates, and other state election issues.
“There are plenty of blank spaces and much room for improvement by all major parties on the VFF’s scorecard so far,” Mr Jochinke said.
“The VFF feels responses from parties and candidates to calls that they deliver for agriculture have been underwhelming to date, and farmers are calling on them to lift their game on key election asks.
“The VFF wants to see a long-term vision for agriculture, investment in fit-for-purpose roads, reliable energy and telecommunications infrastructure and action on rural crime and council rates.
“The VFF expects significant improvements all around when we update the scorecard in two weeks’ time to reflect any new policy developments, including the Coalition’s rates announcement.”
Mr Jochinke said while the VFF welcomed the rates announcement, it was important to remember the federation had repeatedly raised the farm-rates issue.
“In the context of exorbitant rate increases this year – as high as 20 to 50 percent for some VFF members – and extremely trying drought conditions in parts of the state, it is disappointing more has not been done by the parties and candidates to address this crucial issue,” he said.
“The VFF calls on the other parties to match the Coalition’s commitment on rates at a bare minimum.
“The VFF maintains our rating system is completely broken and needs to be demolished, then rebuilt to ensure a fairer deal for farmers.”
Details about the VFF election scorecard and election campaign are available online at www.deliveringforagriculture.org.

The entire November 7, 2018 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

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Posted on Nov 7 2018

Posted by on Nov 7 2018. Filed under Agriculture, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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