29 October 2018

Farmers to question candidates at VFF election forums

Farmers and community members in key rural and regional electorates will have the opportunity to question local candidates on how they plan to deliver for agriculture during three VFF candidate forums to be held this week.

The events in Bass (30/10), Ripon (31/10) and Mildura (1/11) will feature major and minor party representatives as well as independents, and will be a golden opportunity for the state’s farmers to secure commitments from candidates on the crucial issues facing our sector.

“The VFF launched its 2018 state election platform back in July and so far parties and candidates have provided largely underwhelming responses to demands that they Deliver for Agriculture,” said VFF President David Jochinke.

“We’ve put candidates on notice, and farmers will be expecting answers on their key issues during these forums.

“Agriculture in Victoria contributes a staggering $13 billion to the state’s economy each year and yet Victoria’s farmers still want for some of the basic services that city Victorians take for granted.

“The VFF is talking about things like decent and properly maintained roads so we can get our produce to market and we’re talking about things like reliable power and telecommunications infrastructure and services so we can run our businesses which produce food and fibre for the state, country and world.”

Farmers are also demanding action on Victoria’s unfair rural rating system with many VFF members continuing to report massive annual increases of 20 to 50 per cent to their rates bill.

“We’re saying enough is enough. We can’t afford to rate farmers out of existence. Our rating system must be demolished and completely rebuilt to ensure a fairer deal for farmers.”

This week’s events also follow two successful candidate forums in Bellarine and Polwarth, with VFF also planning additional events in Shepparton (7/11) and Morwell (13/11).

Full details of the VFF’s key election campaign asks as well as details on events can be found at: www.deliveringforagriculture.org

Media Contacts:
David Jochinke, Victorian Farmers Federation President, 0427 834 524
Andrew MacDonald, Stakeholder Media & Communications Advisor, 0418 282 875

About the VFF
The Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) is dedicated to representing the interests of farmers and making a positive difference to their businesses and communities. We strive to create an environment for our members, our farmers, that enables profitable, safe, sustainable production to ensure an enduring social licence in a community that respects and values the sector.