We welcome the announcement that the plight of Latrobe City’s agricultural community would, finally, be recognised. We now await confirmation from the Coalition that they would honour this commitment should they be elected to form government later this month.
The drought conditions being experienced by our farming community are creating hardship and stress—any relief the federal government are able to provide is support we would warmly welcome.
We have already commenced consultation with some segments of the farming community to identify how the funds could be put to best use. We are keen to hear from those most effected, to understand their needs and priorities in order that the $1M is channelled to the most appropriate option.
Rain, and lack of rain, does not neatly follow municipal boundaries and so it is satisfying that farmers on our side of the line are finally being acknowledged like their Wellington neighbours.
Agriculture is worth billions of dollars to our economy but it’s important to remember that behind every harvest there are hardworking families – and right now they are doing it extremely tough.
I expect that this current consultation with the VFF and others will identify a range of potential infrastructure projects and uncover new community needs.
The $1M promised so far is a relatively small amount but it is my expectation that, armed with a list of practical projects generated from speaking directly to farmers, Council Officers will be vigilant in identifying suitable programs to apply for more funding support from whomever forms government following the election.
Latrobe City Mayor Cr Graeme Middlemiss