I am a fifth-generation famer at Myrniong. I farm in conjunction with my wife and mother on approximately 800 acres.
Our most recent council rates have nearly doubled, going from $7719 to $14,520. We receive no extra benefit from the council for the extra $7000 that we pay, neither have we budgeted for an increase of $7000 in rates for this financial year.
Our farms earning capacity has not increased so why should the rates double?
We were not consulted by council that the rates would increase so significantly. We have spoken with local councillors in the Moorabool Shire who attribute blame to the State’s Auditor General. We have also spoken with our local state member’s office.
However, all our concerns seem to fall on deaf ears. Both forms of government maintain that they want to keep the rural aspect in the shire however neither seem willing to come up with a better and fairer rating system for the farming community.
The peri-urban nature of this shire brings many challenges to farming and we receive little help with the influx of people, weeds, lack of infrastructure and destruction of existing infrastructure and rubbish that they bring.
I believe that if the government do not find a fairer rating-system we and many other farmers in our district, will be rated out and local production will cease.