| April 30, 2019
Farmers ignored in Labor’s sham rates review
The Nationals Member for Lowan Emma Kealy believes the Andrews Labor Government’s review into rates is a sham and won’t address the number one issue faced by farmers: the unfair rates cap.
Ms Kealy has slammed the terms of reference for the review, which were finally released by the Andrews Government after a lengthy delay.
“Labor’s so-called Fair Go rates cap caused farm rates in some shires to skyrocket by nearly 30 per cent last year,” Ms Kealy said.
“Farmers have waited months for the Government to get cracking with this review, and now we learn Daniel Andrews is excluding his failed rates cap from the scope of the inquiry.
“It’s also frustrating the review’s scope excludes looking at the adequacy of the valuation system and that it will ignore other sources of local government funding like State and Commonwealth grants.
“Labor has set up a sham review that simply will not deliver the systematic overhaul Victorians deserve so that rates are fair for everyone, with none of the 68 items in the terms of reference mentioning rural or regional councils.
“Daniel Andrews has also ignored calls from the Liberal Nationals for an interim rates cap to be applied to all rating categories while the review is conducted.
“Farmers who got hit with huge increases last year are rightly very nervous about the next rates assessments which will be hitting mail boxes soon.
“While Daniel Andrews dithers, our farmers are being rated out of existence at a time when many are already under pressure from drought, high water prices and skyrocketing energy bills – there’s nothing fair about that.
“Without this focus on regional and rural ratepayers, Daniel Andrews is once again proving he’s the Premier for Melbourne, not the Premier of Victoria”.
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