Presentation on theme: "The Case for Local Government Funding Reform The Farmer’s Perspective."— Presentation transcript:
The Case for Local Government Funding Reform The Farmer’s Perspective
Victorian Farmers Federation The VFF has over 10,000 farmer members Represents all farming commodities –Grain, Dairy, Horticulture, Chicken Meat, Pigs, Eggs VFF consists of over 200 local branches that meet to discuss local issues and drive advocacy activity of the VFF Board of elected and 2 independent skills based directors Policy development and advocacy democratically determined through Annual conference
Why are farmers so concern with Local Government Funding? There are two main reasons farmers as so interested in local government funding: –Farmers are service users of local government, with many referencing the need to return to the tradition Three - Rs –Farmers are high municipal rates payers
Municipal Rates Campaign VFF Research into Municipal rates –Survey of farmers found Average farmer rates Bill is $8500 (with examples of $30k and $40k) Average residential Bill is under $1000 85% of respondent are not satisfied with Council services –Improved road maintenance would greatly assist in this Analysis of Council budgets found: –Farmers pay 50% of all rates assessed on business in rural and regional Vic, but make up 13% of regional economy –In the past 5 years rates collection has increase by over 35% across regional Victoria
Rates as the symptom… Current rate system disadvantages farmers as rate payers –Land is a means of production, not merely where the business is located Rural and Regional Councils do not have a large capacity to raise revenue –Heavily reliant on Gov’t grants and rates for income
What the VFF is doing Federal Government –Funding levels –Funding of local roads State Government –Funding $160m 4 years –Ministerial guidance on Differentials Local Government –Municipal Charges –Strong differentials for farmers –Are Local Government run as efficiently as possible?
State Review to Local Government funding VFF is conducting a letter writing campaign Petition calling for an Inquiry into Rural rating First step to the acceptance that something needs to be done We want to work with the community to deliver reform to local government