|The Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) today welcomed important announcements and increased grants from the Federal and State Government.
“The last twenty-four hours have seen sensible and prudent initiatives that will further support the agricultural sector,” VFF President David Jochinke said.
“I want to thank the Federal and State governments who have invested more than $410 million in the agricultural sector since the start of this pandemic crisis.”
Heavy Vehicle Road User Charge to remain at current level
This morning the Federal Government announced their decision to freeze the Heavy Vehicle Road User Charge at current levels. According to the Federal Government, the Road User Charge will stay at 25.8 cents per litre for diesel in 2020-21 instead of increasing by the scheduled 2.5 percent.
“Road freight is absolutely critical to the agricultural industry and the VFF has been seeking the freeze for some time,” Mr Jochinke said.
State On-Farm Drought Resilience Grant Program Doubled
The Victorian Government’s Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes yesterday announced the doubling of the On-Farm Drought Resilience Grant Program from $5,000 to $10,000. The Farm Machinery Grant Program for farmers in the Millewa region in the north-west has also been extended.
These grant programs are part of the Victorian Government’s $31 million support package announced late last year.
“We all know the difficult economic position the Victorian Government is in due to the Coronavirus. In this environment, the Victorian Farmers Federation welcomes the much-needed injection of funds,” Mr Jochinke said.
“One of the most important positive things out of COVID-19 is the joined-up thinking and bipartisanship across Government. Initiatives or policies that may have taken years to implement are now agreed to in a matter of days.
“And we’ve been working with Government to ensure our industry can continue during this time but in post-COVID-19 world, agriculture can be a generator of jobs and the produce that we need as well as make a significant contribution to our economy and help to restart our economy,” Mr Jochinke said.