The Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) has welcomed today’s Victorian Budget 2019-20, noting some positive
commitments but a number of glaring funding gaps for agriculture.
“We are pleased to see significant resourcing for essential areas such as biosecurity and fit-for-purpose roads,
which benefit all Victorians,” said Mr David Jochinke, VFF President.
“We also welcome the Government’s focus on farm safety with a campaign to promote on-farm safety, farmer
health checks, and two additional farm safety officers at the VFF to help us drive a culture of zero accidents and
deaths on farm.
“The VFF congratulates the Government on its $7.2 million in support for agriculture careers, including training
for shearers. Cutting regional payroll tax to 25 per cent of the metropolitan rate by 2022-23 is also great news for
growing regional businesses.
“While there are some significant promises, the Government has missed an opportunity to fund dedicated
agriculture liaison officers in Victoria Police to help fight farm crime.
“We could not find any mention of the rural and regional energy network, or desperately needed rates relief
while we wait for the rates review to unfold.
“Many of our farmers across the State are still experiencing drought and it was frustrating not to see a greater
focus on support and adaptation,” he said. “While the project is funded, it is disappointing that there is no clear
commitment on a completion date for the Murray Basin Rail Project”.
“Premier Andrews noted that this Budget delivers ‘wealth, momentum and opportunity’. We would like to see
this apply to all communities and industries across Victoria.
“If we are to continue as the ‘strongest performing economy in the country’, agriculture needs to be front and
centre as one of our greatest economic assets. We cannot afford to ignore the contribution agriculture makes and
the conditions required to help it grow,” said Mr Jochinke.
David Jochinke, VFF President, 0427 834 524
Heather Smillie, VFF Stakeholder, Media & Communications Officer, 0400 874 589
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.