WHITTLESEA Council has thrown its support behind local farmers by significantly increasing rate discount for farms.
Offering a special ‘farm rate’ since the early 1980s, council voted to increase the discount from 15 per cent to 40 per cent in the 2017/18 Budget.
Mayor, Cr Ricky Kirkham said the City of Whittlesea was made up of almost 70 per cent rural land and the increase in the discount would support the local farming businesses to continue to productively use the agricultural land.
“This region has had a long history of farming and with the rapid development we’ve seen, we want to ensure they can stay viable,” he said.
“Without a discount, farmers would receive crippling rate bills which would force many out of the area.
“We understand the value to our region that our farmers provide and we are committed to supporting them.”
Whittlesea’s decision to increase the discount is timely with the Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) calling on the state government to scrap rates on farm land. Read more in this week's WHITTLESEA REVIEW.