O’Brien pressures Minister to provide rate-relief
The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien has again called on the Minister for Agriculture to implement rate-relief for drought affected farmers as complaints increase about valuation increases on farmland in Gippsland.
Speaking in Parliament, Mr O’Brien highlighted that some parts of Central Gippsland are now into their third year of drought.
“There has been some recent rain in some of the worst hit areas — May had at least average rainfall, which was a good sign—but it is clear that the drought is far from over and that it is still hurting many of our farmers,” Mr O’Brien said
“When will the minister introduce municipal rate relief for drought-affected farmers in Gippsland?”
“There is little government can do to help but rates are a big bill for many farmers and providing a rebate for them is the most equitable way the state government can help.”
Mr O’Brien said notwithstanding the ongoing drought, his office has been inundated with complaints of significantly increased land valuations, particularly of farmland.
“There is significant concern about the increase, not only why it has happened, but understandably also around the anticipated subsequent rate increases.”
Mr O’Brien reminded ratepayers they had a right to object if they disagreed with the valuation of their property.
In line with parliamentary protocol, the Minister now has 30 days to respond to Mr O’Brien’s question.
The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien, has asked the Minister for Agriculture to advise when rate-relief will be provided to drought-affect farmers.