Media Releases

03
Nov
2018

Liberals to make rates fair for farmers in

An elected Liberal Nationals Government will act to make rates fair for farmers across
Victoria.

Victorian farmers are calling for answers and action after some shires, including Greater
Shepparton imposed dramatic rate increases this year while others passed modest or
even reduced farm rates.

Liberal for Shepparton, Cheryl Hammer said significant farm rates increases in Greater
Shepparton had put an unfair burden on farmers in a year when they were already under
more pressure due to dry conditions.

“Farmers are calling for answers and action, and we are listening,” Cheryl said.
“I’ve been told many stories of farm rates up by between 20 and 50 per cent in the
district putting farmers under enormous financial stress.

Click to download the map and read original article: Map of rate increases-WeeklyTimes-June27

“Shadow Minister for Local Government, David Morris, visited the region a couple of months ago at my invitation to hear how the increases in rates were impacting on farmers in the Dookie district.

Our farmers and agriculture businesses and industry are the backbone of our local economy, that’s why we’ll prioritise an independent inquiry into farm rates in Victoria if we’re elected to government in November.”

The review will be led by a qualified individual, and the terms of reference will direct that
the inquiry must deliver actionable recommendations that help to make rates fair for
farmers across Victoria. The terms of reference will ensure comprehensive consultation
with farmers and the VFF is undertaken.

The rate cap limit will be applied to all rating categories while the review is undertaken.
Leader of The Nationals and Shadow Minister for Agriculture Peter Walsh said rural
communities are built around farming industries, and these industries support thousands
of jobs across the state.

“Food and fibre producers are the powerhouse of Victoria’s economy, and a Liberal
Nationals Government want farm businesses to keep on growing,” Mr Walsh said.
“Farming families are already under pressure from drought, rising energy and water
prices, and a swag of new taxes from the Andrews Labor Government – we can’t afford
for them to be rated out of existence.”

Shadow Minister for Local Government David Morris said farmers had been calling for
rates relief and the Liberal Nationals were listening.

“With farm rates increasing nearly 30pc in some shires, farmers are rightly asking why
their rates are skyrocketing when other councils have been able to keep increases
modest,” Mr Morris said.

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