VFF brings State Government to the country
Monday 6 February 2017
VICTORIA’S peak farmer group is standing up for rural communities by bringing the Government out to survey major issues facing the State’s farmers.
Victorian Farmers Federation President David Jochinke hosted Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford at his farm in the Wimmera district on Friday night, where the Minister heard from locals on a range of issues, including a push to improve farm safety, concerns over the Government’s planned changes to native vegetation laws, and the need to upgrade the State’s deteriorating road and rail networks.
“It’s vital for Government ministers to get out of the office and into the header seat once in a while to understand the issues facing regional Victoria, and we took advantage of a unique opportunity to bring Minister Pulford out to the country to connect with local farmers,” Mr Jochinke said.
“We appreciate the Minister fronting up to farmers and answering difficult questions because it shows the Government is taking an active interest in our agricultural regions.”
Minister Pulford followed a barbecue at Mr Jochinke’s Murra Warra farm, near Horsham, by meeting with locals at a town hall, where she was lobbied to invest further resources in improving the State’s freight infrastructure.
“It’s not every day that rural communities gets the ear of a senior State Government minister, but the gathering was a perfect chance for locals to tell Minister Pulford in their own words how they think the Victorian agriculture industry can remain sustainable and productive,” Mr Jochinke said.
“A lot of people are concerned about the maintenance of road and rail infrastructure, considering the issues that are plaguing the V/Line freight network, so we made it clear how important it is to have strong infrastructure that can carry freight vehicles.”
Minister Pulford also used the occasion to announce a $60,000 grant for Birchip Cropping Group to deliver a precision agriculture project the Government says will “empower grain growers to better utilise digital technologies and analytics that are transforming the agricultural industry”.
David Jochinke, VFF President: 0427 834 524
Ashley Mackinnon, VFF Public Affairs Officer: 0417 165 784