Farmers have been left out of the Victorian Government’s pandemic repair plan in today’s Victorian State Budget handed down by Treasurer Tim Pallas.
Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) President Emma Germano said the Treasurer’s speech failed to mention agriculture as one of Victoria’s key export industries and the 21,000 farm businesses that play a vital role in Victoria’s economy.
“Agriculture plays a vital role in keeping Victoria’s economy moving and the investment in the services and infrastructure we need and deserve is totally underwhelming.”
“Farmers have helped to keep Victoria alive through the pandemic and now that we are approaching the other side, we can’t be treated as an afterthought.”
Ms Germano added she was bitterly disappointed in the budget’s failure to address regional Victoria’s crumbling road network.
“This is yet another budget that fails to address the chronic underfunding of Victoria’s regional road network.”
“Western Victoria has particularly missed out on funding for upgrades to critical freight routes so farmers can get food and fibre to market.”
“Farmers will be expecting substantial investment in our sector and in our communities in the leadup to November’s State election. We will be demanding a fair go for all regional Victoria,” Ms Germano said.
Despite today’s underwhelming announcements, the VFF welcomes the below funding for Victorian agriculture:
- $12 million for a research glasshouse complex and incubation hub at the Horsham Grains Innovation Precinct.
- $1.9 million community pest and weed management, joint emergency exercises for biosecurity incursions and other activities.
- $1.4 million to support farm business and communities to undertake drought specific climate change adaptation activities.
“We are pleased the government listened to our calls on the importance of securing our supply chains with an additional $30 million for the Regional Jobs and Infrastructure Fund and $40 million for the Victorian Industry Investment Fund,” Ms Germano said.