Farmers will gather in Ballarat this week to attend the Victorian Farmers Federation Conference with shire rates a key area of debate.
“Feedback from our members suggests that rates are a key issue across much of rural and regional Victoria,” said David Jochinke, Victorian Farmers Federation President.
“Farmers want to contribute to their communities, but they do not want to be rated out of existence, and Victorians cannot afford to let them be rated out of existence.
“We recognise that rural and regional councils need funding to deliver critical infrastructure. However, we must find a way to deliver equitable funding between these and metropolitan councils – farmers cannot bear all the costs.
“The VFF Conference will wrap-up on Friday afternoon with an open forum on local government and rates. The forum will draw on both the years of data captured by VFF and the knowledge of our farmers.
“Knowing this issue has been the topic of debate in communities across Victoria, we welcome all farmers to this event to share their experiences,” said Mr Jochinke.
The VFF Conference will be held at the Mercure Ballarat Hotel and Convention Centre on Thursday 19 and Friday 20 July. The Rates Forum will commence at 2.45pm on Friday 20 July.
Attendees to the VFF Conference will also have the opportunity to hear from and question the leaders of Victoria’s major political parties; including the Premier of Victoria and Leader of the Opposition. The Conference will be a unique opportunity for farmers to engage with party leaders ahead of the State Election later this year.
For media inquiries, please contact Andrew MacDonald on 0418 282 875 or (03) 9207 5524.