404 500 arrow-leftarrow-rightattachbutton-agriculturebutton-businessbutton-interestcalendarcaretclockcommentscrossdew-point external-linkfacebook-footerfacebookfollow hearthumidity linkedin-footerlinkedinmenupagination-leftpagination-right pin-outlinepinrainfall replysearchsharesoil ticktwitter-footertwitterupload weather-clearweather-cloudyweather-drizzleweather-fogweather-hailweather-overcastweather-partly-cloudyweather-rainweather-snowweather-thunderstormweather-windywind

Ararat farmers play waiting game for rates decision

Ararat Rural City Council voted to defer a decision on whether to scrap the differential rating strategy last night, giving farmers a last minute reprieve.

ARARAT farmers have won a last minute reprieve in their battle against a Council plan to force a 45 per cent rate hike after local councillors tonight voted to defer a decision on whether to scrap the differential rating strategy.

The vote comes after Minister for Local Government Natalie Hutchins last week announced the State Government would conduct an inquiry into the Council’s governance, which is due to report back by August 1.

Under the new rates plan, farmers would collectively pay nearly $2.5 million more per year in council rates, while residents, commercial enterprises and industrial businesses would all get a tax cut.

“Ararat has a thriving farm sector which is one of the key economic drivers of the community, and the Council risks bankrupting the local industry if it pursues this rates plan,” Victorian Farmers Federation President David Jochinke said.

“There has been a huge amount of frustration and outrage in the community. Farmers have made it clear the proposed strategy is unacceptable and it’s up to the Council to offer an alternative solution.”

The Council needs to step up, take its civic responsibility seriously, and reject this proposal once and for all to give farmers security...
David Jochinke, President, Victorian Farmers Federation

Ararat Council first floated the idea of abolishing farm differential rates in April, blindsiding the community.

Local farmers have waged a campaign against the proposal, with the Council receiving close to 600 submissions opposing the strategy.

Mr Jochinke said the Council owed farmers a responsibility to ensure local primary producers wouldn’t face additional economic stress because of the 2017/18 budget.

“Ararat is home to 1,700 farmers and they rely on their local councillors to make decisions in their best interest,” he said.

“It is impossible for farmers to pass on increases, which is something Council has recognised in the past. The Council needs to step up, take its civic responsibility seriously, and reject this proposal once and for all to give farmers security about their finances.”

 

The Council was accepting submissions until 2 June 2017. The AustralianFarmers community lodged over 180 submissions opposing the increase.

  • Tags

0 Responses

Farmers for Free Trade: The Cairns Group Farm Leaders

Blog

Farmers for Free Trade: The Cairns Group Farm Leaders

The Cairns Group Farm Leaders took a leadership role, demanding action at the World Trade Organizati...

15 December 2017 - Scott Kompo-Harms, NFF

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
2017: Farm advocacy in review

Blog

2017: Farm advocacy in review

As the farm sector wipes the sweat from its collective brow after another productive 12 months, it's...

15 December 2017 - National Farmers' Federation

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
Seasonal work in Australia helps Manase Latu rebuild his life at home

Blog

Seasonal work in Australia helps Manase Latu rebuild his life at home

A solid link forged between a third generation citrus growing family in Mundubbera and chef from the...

14 December 2017 - AustralianFarmers

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
Three tips for the crispiest crackling this Christmas

News

Three tips for the crispiest crackling this Christmas

13 December 2017 - Australian Pork Limited

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0

Forum

What is grown? Where? How?

07 December 2017 - Clement DEMARAIS

  • 0
  • 0