Shadow Minister for Agriculture and Leader of the Nationals Peter Walsh has taken a swipe at Daniel Andrews’ latest drought response and says it is “underwhelming and fails to deliver the genuine relief measures farmers have been calling for”.
“Our drought-affected communities are desperate for action from the Premier and it’s disappointing that what he’s turned up with today still falls well short of expectations,” Mr Walsh said.
“Drought, combined with high water prices, is forcing many farmers to the brink, but the Andrews Government just isn’t listening.
“Farmers have been asking for direct relief on council rates and water charges for more than 12 months, but the Andrews Government still refuses to deliver.
“The Agriculture Minister today back flipped on her previous claim that rates relief was “certainly on the table”, and today has dismissed it as a “matter for councils”.
“It’s an insulting attempt by the Andrews Government to shirk responsibility and the Premier and Minister are ignoring the fact that direct rates relief has been provided by State Government in past droughts.
“It’s also disappointing that only three council areas will receive grants support, when the reality is drought is hurting farmers in many parts of our state.
“Daniel Andrews has waited years to visit Victoria’s drought affected communities, but all he’s delivered today is an underwhelming package that simply extends current programs and fails to deliver the genuine support farmers have been calling for.”