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Mallee farming communities need a change of government

Leader of The Nationals David Littleproud is visiting Sunraysia and the Central Goldfields
regions of Mallee, offering hope to agriculture and horticulture businesses hammered by
Labor’s anti-agriculture policies.
Member for Mallee Dr Anne Webster said Mr Littleproud had been invited to the region,
because Victorian farmers need a change of government as soon as possible.
“The National Farmers’ Federation walked out on Agriculture Minister Murray Watt during
his post-Budget speech last week and then moved a vote of no confidence against the
Government,” Dr Webster said.
“As I have been sharing with Mallee farmers in horticulture, cropping and the myriad of
other food and fibre production operations, Labor is robbing regions to buy votes in the
cities.
“Wherever you look, while Labor is finding ways to tax farmers harder, buy back their water
and drive-up water prices, it has cut back on infrastructure the regional communities
desperately need to get an inch closer to the wealth of investment Melbourne people get.”
Mr Littleproud said it was clear that after two years of a Labor Government, regional
Australians were hurting amid a cost-of-living crisis.
“Two years ago when elected, the Prime Minister said that no one would be held back, no
one would be left behind,” Mr Littleproud said.
“Yet no one in the Mallee region, or Australia, is feeling better off under Labor. What we
have seen in the past two years since Labor was elected is an unprecedented assault on the
regions.
“Housing costs are up 12 per cent, rents are up 12 per cent, insurance is up 26 per cent,
electricity is up 18 per cent and gas is up 25 per cent. The cost-of-living crisis is a Labor-
made crisis and Australians are doing it really tough right now.
“Under Labor, $27 billion worth of road, rail and water infrastructure has been cancelled,
cut or delayed.
“We’ve seen this Government tear up the dedicated Agriculture Visa, continue to use an
unworkable Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) Scheme, try to introduce a reckless
fresh food tax, or biosecurity protection levy, and press ahead with shutting down the live
sheep export industry.
“We’ve seen a tax on new vehicles, where Australian families, farmers, and tradies will pay
more for SUVs, Four-Wheel Drives, and utes, as well as a truckie tax.
“We’ve seen $450 million wasted on a failed Referendum that divided our nation.
“A future Coalition Government will have common sense solutions, including exploring all
our energy options, with nuclear in the mix, rather than a reckless race to renewables,
which will require 28,000 kilometres of transmission lines and destroy farming land in areas
such as the Mallee.
“We will restore services to the regions with better childcare and health access, lowering
migration rates to help ease the housing crisis.
“A future Coalition Government will introduce an importer container levy – rather than
charging our own farmers to pay for the biosecurity risks of importers in the form of a
terrible fresh food tax.
“A future Coalition Government will also reinstate the Agriculture Visa, ensure the PALM
Scheme is workable for farmers, back our live sheep industry and reinstate the live sheep
export trade, deliver strong infrastructure for our regional communities and help families
struggling with a cost-of-living crisis by tackling the drivers of inflation.”

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