Farmers ignored in Labor’s sham rates review

The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Melina Bath says the Andrews Labor Government’s review into rates is a sham and it won’t address the unfair rates cap faced by farmers.

Ms Bath has slammed the terms of reference for the review, which have been finally released by the Andrews Government following a lengthy delay.

“When I asked the Local Government Minister Adem Somyurek in Parliament yesterday to explain why the review fails to address the unfair rates cap, I received a bizarre reply from the Minister that rate caps “stops rates increasing””, said Ms Bath.

“It is clear Minister Somyurek is failing to understand the inequities of the rate cap on our farmers.

“Farm rates are increasing disproportionately as a result of Labor’s Fair Go rates cap.

“In some shires farm rates have skyrocketed by nearly 30 per cent last year.”

“Farmers have waited months for the Government to get cracking with this review, and now we learn Daniel Andrews is excluding his failed rates cap from the scope of the inquiry.

“Labor has set up a sham review that simply will not deliver the systematic overhaul Victorians deserve so that rates are fair for everyone, with none of the 68 items in the terms of reference mentioning rural or regional councils.

“Daniel Andrews has also ignored calls for an interim rates cap to be applied to all rating categories while the review is conducted.

“Farmers who were hit with huge increases last year are rightly very nervous about the next rates assessments which will be hitting mail boxes soon.

“While Daniel Andrews dithers, our farmers are being rated out of existence at a time when many are already under pressure from drought, animal activism, high water prices and skyrocketing energy bills – there’s nothing fair about that.”