Opposition Leader tours drought hit region
State Opposition Leader, Michael O’Brien has toured Central and East Gippsland to see first-hand the ongoing and deepening drought conditions in the region.
Mr O’Brien joined The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien visiting Dutson, Seaspray and Giffard areas as well as meeting with Wellington Shire Council and farmers to discuss the drought. He also toured East Gippsland.
Danny O’Brien said it was important that the alternative premier visit the region and understand the impacts of the drought.
“It was great to have Michael through following on from the visit of the previous opposition leader, Matthew Guy in October last year.
“This drought is deepening and widening and we’re all very conscious of the need to keep it in the mind of the public because I know many farmers feel like they’ve been forgotten.
“As Opposition Leader Michael O’Brien is genuinely committed to represent all Victorians and he had a good opportunity to get an understanding of the impacts of the drought during yesterday’s visit.
“It’s fair to say this is in stark contrast to his opposite number, the Premier Daniel Andrews, who has failed to visit drought-hit parts of Gippsland despite travelling to the Latrobe Valley at least five times since the drought was declared.
“We reiterate our ongoing calls for municipal rate relief which we think is the most equitable way the State Government could provide assistance to farmers.
“It’s a great shame that Daniel Andrews hasn’t visited but he should now come down as the Opposition Leader has done and bring a funding announcement with him.”
Danny O’Brien said with autumn half way through and no clear break yet, things were continuing to look dire for our local farmers.
“If we don’t get good rain in the next month then it will be a very long and difficult winter for many of our farmers. As Michael O’Brien acknowledged yesterday, that has enormous flow-on effects for local small businesses and our towns and is another reason why the State Government should be doing more to help.”