Time for Labor to start listening to farmers on drought support

Nationals MPs have called out the Andrews Labor Government for failing to listen to Gippsland farmers when it comes to drought support.

For months, farmers have been crying out for relief on council rates to ease the financial pressure of drought, but yet again this week we see another Labor Government Minister ignoring these calls only to announce funds for a measure that doesn’t deliver this immediate relief.

And, once again, farmers with properties in Latrobe City Council, who are also badly affected by drought, continue to be excluded by Daniel Andrews.

We know the Andrews Labor Government can’t be trusted to make the right investments, where it’s needed and where it has the most benefit.

Pastures will take years to recover and if the Andrews Labor Government is serious about supporting Gippsland farmers, they would immediately act to ease the crippling financial pressures they are facing, including through council rate relief.

Following a call from The Nationals in State Parliament to extend the Farm Business Assistance Program for a number of years, the government only saw fit to extend it one more month.

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology Drought Report issued yesterday states that over the last 15 months Gippsland rainfall totals are either the lowest on record or severely deficient.

Comments attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Region Melina Bath

Yet again, Labor offers band-aid solutions, which frustratingly fail to proactively address the root cause of farmers’ stress.

The Andrews Labor Government must extend drought support to Latrobe City farmers as record low rainfall and drought conditions grip our region.

Comments attributable to Member for Gippsland South Danny O’Brien

It is time Daniel Andrews took notice of Gippsland and started listening to our farming communities.

The State Government should be offering relief from municipal rates, which The Nationals have been calling for, for many months now.

Comments attributable to Member for Gippsland East Tim Bull

The spread and worsening of the Gippsland drought crisis heightens the need for the State Government to comprehensively act and focus on long-term solutions.

Gippsland’s drought situation is far more complex than Labor are willing to acknowledge.