Media Release

14 November 2018

Walsh-Morris: Liberal Nationals to make rates fair for farmers

Wednesday 31 October 2018

Liberal Nationals to make rates fair for farmers

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 imposed dramatic rate increases this year while other shires passed modest or even reduced farm rates.

Farmers in Mildura LGA have protested farm rate increases of 22.8 per cent, pointing to neighbouring Yarriambiack Shire which kept farm rates increases to just 2.25pc.

Northern Grampians shire farmers were also facing 25pc increases until the council responded to farmers’ outrage and dropped the increase back to 2.25pc.

Mount Alexander farm rates increased by 29.3pc and there were also sizeable increases for Central Goldfield (18.35pc), Bendigo (15pc), Shepparton (13.54pc), Ararat (13.4pc), and Pyrenees (12.29pc).

Farmers are calling for answer and action, and we are listening.

A Liberal Nationals government will prioritise an independent inquiry into farm rates in Victoria.

It 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.

Comment attributable to Shadow Minister for Agriculture Peter Walsh

Food and fibre producers are the powerhouse of Victoria’s economy, and a Liberal Nationals Government want farm businesses to keep on growing.

Rural communities are built around farming industries, and these industries support thousands of jobs directly and indirectly across the state.

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 existence.

Comment attributable to Shadow Minister for Local Government David Morris

Farmers have been calling for rates relief and we’re 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.

The Liberal Nationals are committed to easing the cost of living, and that includes fairer rates for all our farmers.