The Nationals’ Buyback Fightback Tour has already visited Wodonga, Yarrawonga, Shepparton and Kyabram – and will tomorrow take the campaign against Federal Labor’s water buybacks to Robinvale and Mildura in Victoria’s northwest.
Farming communities in Northern Victoria are on the brink of devastation, and the entire state is set to pay a hefty price at the supermarket checkout as a result of Labor’s buyback plan.
Member for Shepparton District, Kim O’Keeffe today joined the tour, led by Deputy Leader of The Nationals and Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Emma Kealy, and Shadow Minister for Water, Tim McCurdy, to speak with farmers and stakeholders to discuss the already tangible impacts felt across Northern Victorian communities.
The Federal Labor Government’s controversial deals with the Greens and crossbenchers, including Indi Member Helen Haines, have sealed the fate of this destructive legislation.
The legislation recently passed the Senate and aims to secure an additional 450GL of water for the environment, with a singular focus on ideology rather than safeguarding the vital dairy, horticulture and viticulture industries that underpin our communities.
Essentially, our valuable water is being flushed down the Murray River and out to the ocean, despite Victoria having already delivered more than its share of water to the basin plan.
Ms O’Keeffe said The Nationals will continue to shine a light on Labor’s destruction of farming communities and its disregard for plunging Victorians deeper into the worsening cost-of-living crisis.
“The surge in production costs for farmers paints a bleak picture, forewarning an inevitable spike in expenses at the supermarket checkout—a direct consequence of Labor’s misguided legislation,” said Ms O’Keeffe.
Ms Kealy said millions of dollars in agricultural production is at risk and farming industries are already feeling the effects of this destructive legislation.
“Dairy production in Northern Victoria has experienced a 50% reduction, with the closure of a dairy facility in Rochester a consequence of these devastating buybacks,” said Ms Kealy.
Mr McCurdy said farmers cannot be expected to maintain or increase production with diminishing water resources.
“It’s evident that Federal Labor shows little interest in supporting the viability of Victorian farming industries. As agricultural production in Victoria declines, we find ourselves increasingly dependent on other states and nations for our produce,” said Mr McCurdy.
It’s clear Jacinta Allan can’t manage money, can’t manage projects and can’t be trusted to protect our water.
The Buyback Fightback Tour will finish up in Robinvale and Mildura on Thursday.