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Pressure to Rebuild Productive Capacity

11 March 2010

AUSTRALIA - The Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) has called on State Treasurer John Lenders to keep the need to rebuild the productive capacity of Victorian agriculture front of mind when deciding on Victoria’s 2009/10 State Budget.

VFF President Andrew Broad said the Federation put forward a number of recommendations to help secure a sustainable future for Victorian agriculture in its recent State Government Pre-budget Submission.

“After years of drought, this will be the first year that many farmers will be able to concentrate on investing in their farm. The recent rains across most of the state signals the return to traditionally average yields and water allocations,” Mr Broad said.

“We are now calling on the State Government to throw its support behind this change in tides when preparing its 2009/10 State Budget, and help reposition Victorian agriculture for long-term sustainability in the future.

“In our pre-budget submission, the VFF recommended a further $165m should be committed to refund the Regional Infrastructure Development Fund to help increase regional and rural productivity and increase infrastructure investment. This form of government support has been very beneficial for Victorian farmers in the past, for example with the funding of the Stock Over/Underpass Road Safety (SOURS) Programme.

“We also ask the State Government, possibly with assistance from the Federal Government, to fund the $250m rail freight network standardisation.

“Rail standardisation is a vital component for a cost effective supply chain. A standardised network will increase transport flexibility within the grain industry and prevent over 11,000 mineral sands trucks per year travelling through regional towns.

“We highlighted the need for small business incubators, and recommended $20m should be invested over four years to assist emerging businesses across all sectors with infrastructure support and business and legal advice. We also called for a one-off $5m safety and awareness campaign centred on farm implements and machinery on roads.

“The Victorian Government has important responsibilities in creating a policy framework that is conducive to business success. We look to the Government to show leadership and commitment to a long-term willingness to work with farmers in safeguarding productive farm lands and an impressive agricultural economy,” Mr Broad concluded.

TheCattleSite News Desk



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