The Nationals Gippsland South Rates Relief Drought Financial Assistance Farmers Gippsland Drought

O'Brien backs calls for Shire Rates Relief

The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien has repeated calls for the state government to provide municipal rates relief for struggling farmers affected by drought in the Wellington Shire.

Mr O’Brien was commenting after attending a community get-together at the Stradbroke Hall on Sunday night for locals affected by the deepening drought conditions and visiting some of the worst affected areas this week.

“Once again at this event there was strong feedback that governments could do more to assist our farmers and overwhelmingly people agree that a subsidy on shire rates would be of most help,” Mr O’Brien said.

“The Nationals identified this last year as the most equitable and straight-forward way that the state government could assist our local farmers. It has been done before in the northwest of the state and it should be implemented here.

“While all farmers have different needs on their properties and in their businesses, they all pay rates and therefore a 50 per cent or greater subsidy would be the most help for those suffering financial hardship.”

Mr O’Brien repeated his calls for Daniel Andrews to visit the region.

“In Parliament last year, I invited the Premier to come and see first-hand the drought conditions in Central and East Gippsland.

“Since the government acknowledged the drought the Premier has been to the Latrobe Valley five times, but has failed to make it east of Traralgon. That’s not good enough for a man who said he would govern for all Victorians.

“The leader of our state government needs to see the conditions first-hand and should come with an announcement of support through rate relief.”

Mr O’Brien has again toured the area south of Sale this week and is devastated to see the drought has deepened and is also spreading.

“Our farmers are resilient people, but for many they are now into their second year of record dry conditions and it is just taking a toll. The state government needs to step in and help.”

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The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Danny O’Brien is calling on the Andrews Labor Government to provide rate relief to local famers.

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