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Andrews Government must broaden drought support

The Andrews Labor Government can – and must – do more to support our drought-affected farmers.

South Australia has announced it will provide immediate financial relief with a 50 per cent rebate on council rates or pastoral lease payments in 2019-20 and 2020-21 for farmers eligible for the Farm Household Allowance.

In contrast, the Andrews Government claims rates relief is a “matter for councils”.

This is despite the Victorian government providing 50 per cent subsidies on council rates and relief on fixed water charges for all drought-affected farmers in 2008-09.

Rates relief is a simple, common sense measure that can be applied fairly to those who need it the most.

The challenges facing our farmers, including drought and high water prices, don’t stop at the shire boundary.

Farmers outside the Mildura, East Gippsland and Wellington shires have been excluded from the Andrews Government’s drought package and it’s time to right that wrong.

South Australia has stepped up to provide the genuine rates relief farmers have been asking for. Daniel Andrews must finally put aside his arrogance and do the same.

Peter Walsh MP

Leader of the Nationals

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