THE Liberal Nationals yesterday urged Premier Daniel Andrews to go further with support for Victoria’s drought affected farmers and provide shire rates relief and rebates for fixed water charge.
As the dry conditions continue, Murray Dairy has estimated that a third of dairy farms in Northern Victoria will be forced to close.
On the first day of State Parliament for 2019, Leader of The Nationals and Shadow Minister for Agriculture Peter Walsh urged the Government to implement the common sense measures as quickly as possible.
“The perfect storm of drought and industry downturn has led to low milk prices, low rainfall and high water prices hitting at the same time,” Mr Walsh said.
“Over the past few months, dairy farmers have been faced with an impossible decision – sell off entire dairy herds or face the prospect of not being able to keep them fed and watered.
“Farmers want common sense support.
“Shire rate relief and water charge rebates have proved to be effective in the past. If the city-centric Labor Government truly wants to help struggling farmers, it’ll immediately implement this assistance.
“The Premier said he would be happy to sit down and talk ideas and while the Liberal Nationals will take up that offer, we do hope that these two practical measures can be implemented swiftly to bring immediate relief to farmers and our communities that are in dire need.”
Mr Walsh said the Liberal Nationals will continue to work with drought-affected communities to make sure their voice was heard.
“This support will ease the financial pressure on farmers and their families, meaning less time worrying about how to pay the bills and more time supporting each other and keeping the business running,” Mr Walsh said.
“With the dry conditions set to continue, drought-stricken communities need this assistance now.”
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