THE Victorian Farmers Federation is calling for candidates contesting at this year’s state election to deliver for agriculture.
The call coincides with the launch of the VFF’s new campaign website, which reinforces key state election asks and platforms ahead of polling day on 24 November.
Key election issues focused on by the VFF include a commitment to implement a fair and equitable rates system; $6.2 billion for fit-for-purpose roads; $155 million for a long-term energy plan; $600 million for improved telecommunications; and a science-based, practical approach to regulation.
VFF president and Murra Warra farmer David Jochinke said it was time for all election candidates to heed calls to start delivering for farmers, their communities and a sector which contributes so much to the state’s economy and wellbeing.
“(We’re) just 12 weeks out from the election, candidate responses to calls to deliver for agriculture have left a lot to be desired; VFF is saying enough is enough,” he said.
“It’s all well and good to announce localised projects and upgrades that tinker around the edges, but we are after big-ticket commitments and genuine vision.
“The VFF is sick of the lack of long-term vision from politicians for a sector which contributes more than $13 billion to Victoria’s economy, and we’re sick of the political in-fighting.
“(Recent events have) served as a timely reminder to all politicians and elected officials - we are voted in to serve our constituents, not to fulfil our own needs and leadership dreams. The last thing we want is to see the federal fiasco spilling over into state politics.”
He said farmers needed certainty and political stability.
“If farmers behaved the way some of our political leaders do at work, Victorians and Australians wouldn’t eat,” he said.
“There would be no food or fibre to squabble over. We need decent roads, and we need a fair rates system which doesn’t threaten to rate farmers out of existence.”
For more information on the VFF’s 2018 election campaign platforms visit www.deliveringforagriculture.org.