Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) president David Jochinke has given a mixed report card to both major parties’ agricultural policies, as the state election race enters its final fortnight.
Mr Jochinke said there had been some “very good” announcements, in between some “underwhelming” ones.
“They are not quite addressing all the infrastructure asks we were hoping for,” he said.
“Both parties are covering off on a lot of our topics. However, neither party has completely knocked it out of the park and given us a core vision of what agricultural policy would look like, after four years in office.”
The commitment to a review of the council rating system – by both major parties – was welcome, as was the funding for shearer training.
He said there was still time for further announcements.
“We always hope more announcements will be coming for rural areas and the agricultural community,” he said.
“When you look at some of the big funding announcements that have been made, not many of them have landed in the rural areas.”
We always hope more announcements will be coming.
The VFF has held a series of candidate forums across the state, in the lead up to the November 24 election.
“Rates have dominated, closely followed by roads and rural infrastructure, compared with urban infrastructures,” Mr Jochinke said.
“We have seen a lot of road and rail announcements, around the city and regional areas, but it hasn’t necessarily flowed into rural areas and there are issue around telecommunications and education.”
There were also localised themes, such as energy generation and transmission, in the north and south-west.
Mr Jochinke said about 50 members of the community from the state electorate of Ripon gathered at the Ararat RSL to hear from candidates for the marginal seat.