Member of Lions Club – State Parliament
Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, has criticised the Andrew’s Labor Government’s silence on rate relief for drought impacted farmers, while announcing additional funding for councils today.
Today the Local Government Minister poured millions into council governance measures, which will see councils state-wide share in just on $20 million to ‘improve the quality, effectiveness and affordability of services to their ratepayers’, at a time when Mr Andrews refuses to listen to our local farmers’ calls for rate relief, he said.
“The Andrews Government has its priorities all wrong. Our drought-affected farmers deserve to know why the Government has been telling us rate relief is ‘on the table’ since January, but has still done nothing six months later.
“There comes a time when something that is on the table needs to be either acted on, or taken off the table - and the reality is many in our rural sector are doing it tough.
“We hear nothing week after week and then we get told out of nowhere that funding is being provided to councils to, in the government’s own words, ‘integrate information systems with a focus on electronic records and document management’.
“That is all well and good and I am sure our councils will utilise this money wisely, but I would have thought there were more pressing matters at the moment. This funding will do nothing to directly assist the farmers in need.
“The rate revenue generated from farmers in East Gippsland Shire is $4.9 million and it is $10.1million in Wellington. This package could have subsidised council rates for those in need, which at the present time would be better than ‘integrating information systems,” Mr Bull said.